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Transliteration of original Title: 
Semantika nauchnoj terminologii v kitajskom jazyke (na primere terminov fiziki jelementarnyh chastic). Kognitivnyj aspect
Maria Rubets
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No. 1 (Vol. 43)

This article highlights the problem of the connection between thought and scientific language. The hypothesis of non-identity of thought-forms in different cultures, expressed in language, and the reflection of the spatial thinking in scientific terminology is tested. Author researches Mandarin language as having a phonetic system and principles of the expression of meaning a lot different from Indo-European languages. The research is concentrated primarily on the terms included in the semantic field of "elementary particle physics" (mainly the names of the particles) as it is a relatively recent field of science which had not had any roots in Chinese culture and did not have indigenous scientific vocabulary. First the author describes the peculiarities of Mandarin phonetic system and syllable structure which hardly let using transcription or transliteration in producing of scientific terms, and also gives the examples of translation and transcription of some western terms and names into Chinese. The author shows different forms of the assimilation of European scientific terminology and also different methods of forming scientific terms in Mandarin language. It is shown, that the terms were translated into Chinese either by loan translation (which sometimes leads to inaccurate reflection of meaning), transcription (only for the terms derived from the names such as “boson” or “fermion”) or the descriptional expression of meaning (such as tachyon, bradyon, luxon). The last one lets produce the terms which reflect the essence of the phenomena more accurately. Also the author shows the connection between scientific terminology and the traditional world view and native Chinese concepts (like “yin” and “yang”). It is concluded that Chinese scientific language tends to be visual and descriptive as much as possible, which in a certain sense indicates the reflection of the spatial thinking in linguistic phenomena.

physical terms, Mandarin, spatial thinking, sense-formation, translation, transcription, representation, connotations

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