top of page

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2021, Book 1

Language and linguistics


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Olga Maximova, Dr. Tatiana Maykova


Proper names reflect the interaction between society and language. They identify unique entities and are used to refer to them. At the same time, it is not uncommon of proper names to serve as a source for word-formation. It should be noted, however, that while in a natural language (notably English) proper names mostly give rise to denominal verbs or adjectives, terminologies are different. Most units that count as terms are nouns, which makes their semantics somewhat special. The paper originates as one of a series towards a typology of sociological terminology and endeavors to analyze the terms whose etymology refers to a proper name (that is, eponymic terms). The research poses the following questions: whether this type of terms is common in Social Science, what are their structural and semantic distinctions as well as mechanisms behind their motivation, whether they are culture specific. The terms were manually retrieved from a set of data of 2500 terminological units extracted from a number of dictionaries and other sources. They were further grouped by structural criteria and the nature of eponymous components and made subject to morphological and semantic analyses. The research shows that structurally eponymic terms are morphological derivatives or two-(or more)-word compounds, with their prevalence estimated at 2%. The authors come to conclusion that terms of this type feature substantial diversity with regard to their eponymous components; they are motivated through the combination of encyclopedic knowledge of the entity, represented by the eponym, and the semantics of derivational morphemes or appellative components. Mythology-based eponymous terminology is represented by two groups, the first tracing back to Antiquity or biblical tradition, and the second of later origin, which requires a specific cultural experience for the meaning to be retrieved. Further analysis shows that the latter type along with toponym-based terminology is culture-specific in relation to American culture.


Proper names, sociological terminology, eponymic terms, terminological transparency, motivation, cultural specificity


NORDSCI International Conference 2021, Book 1, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4110, ISBN 978-619-7495-14-3, PROPER NAMES AS TERMINOLOGY IN SOCIAL SCIENCE, 225-233 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2021/B1/V4/20

bottom of page