The Analogue Rule of Term Creation
Also called the “Analogue Rule of Naming”, it is one of the methods used to create terms in target languages. Kostas Valeontis (Physicist-Electronic Engineer and President of the Hellenic Society for Terminology (ELETO)) came up with the term in 1997, and his rule states that “when forming a term in a language (target language) in order to name a new concept that has been primarily named in another language (source language), the namer’s first choice should be to apply a term-formation mechanism analogous to the term-formation mechanism used for the source language term”.
In order words, the rule dictates that the mechanism that was used to form a term in the source language should be the same when creating the target language term.
In one presentation during the Second Terminology Summit, Valeontis called the analogue rule “a useful terminological tool in interlengual transfer of knowledge”, and explained that the rule ensures that:
- the work already done during the source term creation phase is repurposed;
- arbitrariness in the selection of term-formation mechanisms that may be irrelevant or incompatible with the term-formation mechanisms for the rest of the concepts of the same conceptsystem, where the concept being named belongs; and
- problems are minimized if the term is modified or revised in the future.
Below is the illustration provided by Kostas for applying the analogue rule for naming a new concept in the target language, which takes into account, besides the definition of the concept and the term designating the concept in the source language, the relevant term-formation mechanism. The figure was taken from his presentation for the Summit (see sources below). Check out page 7-8 for examples he provides from English to Greek.
Sources and further reading
Valeontis, Kostas and Mantzari, Elena. The linguistic dimension of terminology: principles and methods of term formation. 2006
Valeontis, Kostas. The analogue rule. A useful terminological tool in interlingual transfer of knowledge. 2004.