Gordiienko O. Terminological Lexicography in the Formation of the Global Scientific Area of Medicine (based on English Medical Dictionaries)

Українська версія

Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc)

State registration number


Applicant for


  • 10.02.04 - Германські мови


Specialized Academic Board

Д 17.051.02

Zaporizhzhia National University


The thesis focuses on the English-language medical terminography, the direction of its dynamics and development prospects. In this research, English-language medical terminography (ELMT) is seen as an effective means of promoting international communication and fruitful cooperation in the field of medicine under the conditions of globalization. The study covered the period from the middle of the 17th century to the beginning of the 21st century and included a critical analysis of 472 English-language medical reference works in the context of the history of medical terminography. In the research, a new trend in linguistic studies has been introduced – medical terminological lexicography. Within this trend, the terms "terminography" and "metalexicography" have been elaborated, the term "English-language medical terminography" has been introduced; a new systems methodology for the study of medical terminography has been developed; the correlation between the dynamics of medical discourse, the development of the terminological system and the medical terminography has been indicated; a typological criterion, specific for medical terminography, its regulatory function, was revealed and a class of the English-language medical reference works that perform this function was distinguished. Through the systems’ approach, systemic nature of medical terminography was identified and proved, the type of systems it belongs to, complex adaptive systems (CAS), was specified, structural and dynamic models of this system were developed. A comprehensive research methodology was elaborated. The methodology conjoins two approaches to the analysis and modeling of complex adaptive systems – ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ – and incorporates methods of linguistics, lexicography, and general scientific methods. By application of the ‘bottom-up’ approach the course of historical development (dynamic aspect) and the current state (typological aspect) of CAS-English-language medical terminography (CAS-ELMT) were revealed. By application of 'top-down' approach the dynamics of its evolution was outlined, systemic lacunae were identified and the lacunae filling methods were developed. These methods are based on the laws of evolutionary dynamics of the CAS-ELMT, theoretical postulates and practical methods of lexicography and terminography, the state of medical science and practice in the context of globalization, the latest achievements in science and technology as well as the potential user needs. A comprehensive analysis of the evolution of the CAS-ELMT that took into account both the state of medicine and its terminology as well as methods of its lexicographic description gave grounds for distinguishing two developmental periods – evolving terminography (17th–18th centuries) and advanced terminography (19th century – 2020) with the subdivision of the second period into four successive phases (1. 19th century – 1918; 2. 1919–1945; 3. 1946–1999; 4. 2000–2020). English medical terminography evolutionary dynamics and trends were determined. Dynamics of the CAS-ELMT evolution demonstrates stable but uneven upward trend. A typological classification of the English-language medical reference works based on their functionality and characteristics of the potential user was developed. For factual reference works, these characteristics comprise continuity of structural and typological composition with a clear focus on specialization and, since the end of the twentieth century, tendency to the increase in the use of the digital component. In the group of explicative reference works, dynamics is two-vector – for monolingual dictionaries it moves in the direction of specialization, for translation dictionaries – in the direction of generalization. Encyclopaedic dictionaries dynamics tends to move towards specialization. The dynamics of the evolution of electronic dictionary reference works is developing in the direction of systematic representation of medical terminology. In accord with the established dynamics of development of CAS-ELMT and identified system lacunae, based on the achievements of educational lexicography, user needs, their level of the English language competence and knowledge of medicine, an electronic English learners medical dictionary was designed.


Similar theses