LINGUIST List 24.1079

Sat Mar 02 2013

Review: General Linguistics; Morphology; Semantics: Sablayrolles & Humbley (2012)

Editor for this issue: Monica Macaulay <>

Date: 01-Feb-2013
From: Bruno Maroneze <>
Subject: Neologica. 2012, n° 6
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AUTHOR: Jean-François SablayrollesAUTHOR: John HumbleyTITLE: Neologica. 2012, n° 6SUBTITLE: Revue internationale de néologiePUBLISHER: Classiques GarnierYEAR: 2012

REVIEWER: Bruno O. Maroneze, Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados


Neologica is an international journal on neology, which is in its sixthvolume. This volume is divided in three parts, entitled “Néologie ettraduction spécialisée”, “Varia” and “Rubriques”.

The introduction, “Présentation”, by John Humbley, co-founder of the journal,explains that most articles were presented at the event entitled “Néologie ettraduction spécialisée” [neology and specialized translation], which happenedon April 29th, 2011, in Brussels. Humbley then continues giving a briefdescription of each article in the thematic part and of the articles in theVaria part.

The first article of the thematic part is written in English: “Definingneology to meet the needs of the translator: a corpus-based perspective”, byAntoinette Renouf. After reviewing previous research on English neology anddescribing the translator’s needs, the author describes her own researchproject for identifying neologisms in a corpus. The third and most importantpart of the paper is dedicated to showing how a corpus-based approach can helpthe translator to solve some practical problems of neology.

The second article, by Marita Kristiansen and Gisle Andersen, is entitled“Corpus approaches to neology and their relevance for dynamic domains”. Theauthors describe two case studies based on the Norwegian Newspaper Corpus: onfinance neologisms and on terminology for information and communicationtechnology. In the first case, the authors show how the corpus is explored tofind term variants; they also compare the neologisms of the corpus toneologisms found in more specialized texts. In the second case, the corpus isused in a project of normative terminology, to find the most accepted forms,for instance. The authors conclude that corpus-based methodologies are ofgreat relevance “for monitoring the development of neologisms and forextracting terminology” (p. 59).

The third article has an ambitious title: “Towards a new approach to the studyof neology”. By Maria Teresa Cabré and Rogelio Nazar, it proposes astatistics-based methodology for the detection of neologisms, includingpolylexical and semantic neologisms, which are particularly difficult todetect using computational methods. The authors’ main method is to define astatistical pattern for the behavior of the “ideal neologism” and then look inthe corpus for words (both monolexical and polylexical) that follow thatpattern. In the case of semantic neology, their method is to find the patternsof co-occurring words: two or more groups of co-occurring words may signaldifferent meanings. The authors exemplify both methods and conclude thatstatistical analysis of corpora is an important methodology to be followed byneology studies.

The next paper, by Pascaline Dury, is written in French: “Le sentiment d’unbesoin néologique chez l’expert pour remplacer un terme à connotationpejorative” (The specialist’s feeling of a neological need to replace a termwith pejorative connotation). The author begins with a discussion of theconnotation of specialized vocabulary and then brings a great deal of data,extracted from medical papers, that show how the specialists express theirfeelings that a term must be replaced. The author finishes with a reflectionon the reasons why a specialist may wish to replace a term and on how thisreplacement term is accepted by the community.

The next contribution, written in Spanish, is entitled “El papel de latraducción en la formación secundaria de términos sintagmáticos” (The role oftranslation in the secondary formation of syntagmatic terms), by JoaquínGarcía Palacios and Lara Sanz Vicente. The authors begin by showing howtranslation procedures (from English to Spanish in particular) are importantin the formation of syntagmatic terms; they then present some reflections oncalques and on the importance of autochthonous word formation procedures, andconclude by presenting an approach to term formation planning that takes intoconsideration the position of English and Spanish in scientific production.Their approach tries to avoid purist ideas, focusing on the search for thebest ways of adapting English terms.

Written in French, the text “Néologie d’origine, néologie de transfert: le casdes néologismes dans le domaine de la psychanalyse et leur traduction enespagnol” (Neology of origin, neology of transfer: the case of psychoanalysisneologisms and their Spanish translation), by Ana María Gentile, analyses theneologisms created by Freud and Lacan. The author begins by presenting Freud’ssemantic neologisms, which he borrowed from other disciplines (medicine,biology, economy, religion, etc.). She then describes Lacan’s style, whichrelied heavily on word-formation and wordplay in general. The last part of thearticle is dedicated to a discussion of some problems of translating bothpsychoanalysts’ texts into Spanish.

The next article, by Jean Quirion, is entitled “Néologie traductive, néologieaménagiste et néologie collaborative massive: l’unité dans la disparité”(Translation neology, planning neology and massive collaboration neology:unity in disparity). The article begins by defining and distinguishing“néologie traductive” (translation neology) and “néologie aménagiste”(planning neology). The author brings some examples of the needs for neology,especially in minority languages, and then presents a quantitative method(“terminométrie”) that measures the usage rate of a minority language innaming a specific concept; examples are given for Canadian French. In the lastpart of the paper, the author brings to attention the very recent andinteresting concept of “néologie collaborative massive” (massive collaborativeneology), the creation of neologisms in the context of online collaborativewriting (like Wikipedia). This kind of neology undoubtedly has a greatpotential in the context of minority languages and is yet to be fullyunderstood.

The article by Reuben Seychell, “Neologising -- a case study on Maltese”,focuses on term creation in Maltese. The author describes the legalnecessities of term creation in the context of the European Union and themethods and criteria employed by the translation department of an EUinstitution regarding the Maltese language. The text relies heavily onconcepts of Philosophy of Language, like Derrida’s deconstruction.

The last article of the thematic part, by Nathalie Lemaire and Paul Muraille,is entitled “Sigles graphiques en langue de spécialité: typologie,variabilité, enjeux” (Graphic acronyms in specialized language: typology,variability, issues). A “sigle graphique” is defined as an acronym bearing acase alternation or non-alphabetic symbols (like numbers or specialcharacters). The authors present a very detailed typology of French andEnglish acronyms and analyze a sample of graphic acronyms from the domain ofgenetics, in order to describe acronym variability. They conclude that thehuge variability may cause problems to the non-specialist, and suggest thatnormalization efforts and the treatment of these acronyms by electronic toolsmay help minimize ambiguities.

The last two articles form the “Varia” part. The first one, by Charlotte Coy,is entitled “Les recommandations officielles des commissions de terminologieet leur rapport à la langue commune” (The official recommendations ofterminology commissions and their relations to the general language). Thepaper intends to measure the degree of success of the terms that wererecommended by the French terminology commissions by analyzing their presencein general-purpose dictionaries after five years (2005-2010). Employing amethod that emphasizes lexical motivation, the author presents graphics thatform a lexicological profile of the data and compares this profile to theprofiles described in other studies. She concludes that the terminologicaldata differ from the other parts of the lexicon with respect to lexicalmotivations.

The last paper of the volume, “Maux et mots ou la dénomination des maladies”(Illnesses and words or the naming of diseases), by Pascaline Faure, studiesthe names of diseases and syndromes in a comparative perspective. The studypresents many denomination tendencies: Greco-Latin names, names derived fromother languages, metaphorical names, names that carry historical references,culturally marked names, eponyms and, more recently, names based on toponyms,names based on etiology and names that try to describe the disease withexactitude. The paper, richly exemplified, concludes that the progressiveabandonment of eponyms and metaphors may reflect a contemporary tendency to“dehumanize” medicine, giving it a more scientific aspect.

At the end of the volume, “Actualités de la néologie” (Neology news) presentspast and future events on neology, as well as reviews of theses.“Bibliographie de la néologie” (Bibliography on neology) presents descriptionsof recent publications on neology. There is also a small review of Alain Rey’s“La langue sous le joug” (Language under the yoke), by Jean-FrançoisSablayrolles and the abstracts of all the volume’s contributions.


The field of Neology is very broad, touching on many other subfields ofLinguistics, such as Lexicology, Lexical Semantics, Morphology and HistoricalLinguistics; it is also especially relevant for translation studies, languageplanning, dictionary-making and specialized language (Terminology) studies. Assuch, it is of great importance that an international publication on thissubject exists, albeit created only recently.

This specific volume will be of particular interest to linguists working onspecialized translation and on language planning, topics that are covered inmost articles. Theoretical issues are less emphasized, although there areimportant contributions, like Cabré and Nazar’s.

The predominance of papers written in French is representative of theimportance of French-speaking linguists in the field of Neology; even theEnglish-language contributions were written by non-native speakers. It ishoped that these articles may contribute to the development of the field inEnglish-speaking countries.

There are some aspects of specific papers that are worth noting. In the firstarticle, by Renouf, although the author’s argumentation is fully convincing,the reader may feel the lack of a discussion on how to find equivalents in acorpus. In the paper on psychoanalysis neologisms, by Ana María Gentile, thereader does not find a clear explanation of the concepts of “néologied’origine” and “néologie de transfert”, employed in the title and throughoutthe text. Finally, there is a minor mistake in the last paper of the volume,by Faure: the author says that leprosy (FR lèpre) is named after the bacteriumMycobacterium leprae; in fact, it is the bacterium that is named after thedisease, which was known by humanity for millennia before the bacterium wasdiscovered (cf. articles “Leprosy” and “Mycobacterium leprae” in Wikipedia).

Neology as a whole covers many more topics than are covered in this specificvolume; this is of course due to the fact that most texts are from thecolloquium “Néologie et traduction spécialisée”, as already mentioned. Forinstance, topics like word formation are not covered. Nevertheless, thisvolume (and the journal as a whole) represents an important contribution tothe important but sometimes neglected field of Neology.


Bruno O. Maroneze completed his Ph.D. in the University of Sao Paulo in 2011.His Ph.D. thesis focuses on Brazilian Portuguese neologisms formed bysuffixation. His main research interests are on the semantics of wordformation and, especially, the study of neologisms. He is currently teachingin the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Letters of the Universidade Federalda Grande Dourados, MS, Brazil.

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