Of Neologisms

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Lucus Eques
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Of Neologisms

Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:32 am

ΧαίÏ￾ετε, παντες !

In my field of Geology, I am constantly bombarded by neologisms of Greek and Latin origin (and far too often of bastardized hybridization — can anyone comfortably explain to me the etymology of stratosphere?). I'd like to pick some Hellenistic brains here for helping me to determine some better alternatives we might employ instead.

The first:

SEISMICITY

We have á½￾ σεισμὸς for "earthquake" and σεισμικὸς for "seismic" — all well and good. Then some fool, apparently in 1902 according to Webster, tacked on the infelicitous Latin '-icity' suffix and all went to hell.

What would be the fully Greek alternative?
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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:17 am

I have another one for you:

MINERALOGY
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Post by timeodanaos » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:34 am

Don't worry - they don't claim it to be Greek or Latin. It's called INTERLATIN.

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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:23 pm

Seismicity= σεισμικότητα

I think it is more a problem of the English language. Transliterating the Greek equivalent and using seismicoteta would sound real horrible, whereas seismicability could be more usable, but still the suffix –icity is fully integrated into the English language.


Btw- mineralogy=metalleiology? This could be replaced.

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Re: Of Neologisms

Post by annis » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:32 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:I'd like to pick some Hellenistic brains here for helping me to determine some better alternatives we might employ instead.


To what end? Even when linguistic chimeras are avoided, technical and scientific vocabulary pilfer Greek and Latin largely for convenience. You get a new word that has no other meanings to confuse people with.

I'll always remember wandering with a friend through a giant orchid greenhouse. There was some pretty little thing, and checked out the name: Epidendrum calanthum. Upon-a-tree pretty-flower — a singularly useless name to uniquely describe an orchid. The Greek here is simply to give a name to a branch on a taxonomy. Latinity and hellenismos are irrelevant.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:02 pm

ThomasGR wrote:Seismicity= σεισμικότητα


Could you tell me more about this -ικότητα suffix?


Btw- mineralogy=metalleiology? This could be replaced.


Metallology might work. I like how it sounds simpler than 'mineralogy'. :)


To what end?


To the ends of the Earth!

Seriously, though, it is a painful existence dealing with these things on a daily basis, and I do tweak and use more proper terms whenever possible — leading by example has a profound effect.

I enjoy that story, Will. Still, although inane, at least that was good Greek.


What do you all think of geohistory? How do the vowels concord between the omega and the aspiration? Should there be more contraction?
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Post by annis » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:43 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:leading by example has a profound effect.


This can only end in tears. ;)

What do you all think of geohistory? How do the vowels concord between the omega and the aspiration? Should there be more contraction?


Nope, it's fine.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:23 pm

So then: γεωἱστοÏ￾ία ?
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Post by IreneY » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:39 pm

Oh c'mon! At least all of these are better than paraskevidekatriaphobia which I just could not believe anyone came up with when I first heard of it. :lol: Good Greek? Perhaps. Awful tongue twister? You bet!

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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:43 pm

Here's another pair; I see biogenic next to diagenetic — is one of these endings preferable? Do they bear different shades of meaning?
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Post by Bert » Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:17 am

I guess even if a word is "received" from another language its meaning is determined how the new user uses it. Biology would not mean what we mean by it if we strictly followed the meaning of the Greek words from which it was derived.

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Post by ThomasGR » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:17 am

Lucus Eques wrote:
ThomasGR wrote:Seismicity= σεισμικότητα


Could you tell me more about this -ικότητα suffix?


I am not sure and have no idea. I just picked up a dictionary and it came up with this word. I guess it's katharevousa: ancient Greek η σεισμικότις, της σεισμικότητος, and the noun in katharevousa becomes η σεισμικότητα.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:13 am

Lucus Eques wrote:So then: γεωἱστοÏ￾ία ?


So on that note, we have á¼￾παίÏ￾ειν, yet πεÏ￾ιἡλιον — or at least "perihelion" — in one case no contraction and aspiration remaning, in the other contraction and no aspiration — do you see why this confuses me?
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Post by annis » Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:24 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:So on that note, we have á¼￾παίÏ￾ειν,


Why do you expect aspiration? The second element, αἴÏ￾ω, doesn't start with aspiration. á¼￾Ï€-αίÏ￾ω but á¼￾φ-αιÏ￾έω.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:37 pm

That's what I was thinking of — thanks.

Heh, dealing with a novice here. ;)
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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:42 pm

How would exobiology be in Greek?

á¼￾ξωβιολογία ?
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Post by Bert » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:29 am

Lucus Eques wrote:How would exobiology be in Greek?

á¼￾ξωβιολογία ?
I don't know but possibly á¼￾ξωζωολογία

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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:59 am

Okay, cool, the εξω part was my question. Thanks.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:02 pm

In the geologic timescale, we have the Archean, and also the Hadean — presumably the Hadean comes from "Hades" — how might this be written in Greek, assuming Archean would come from á¼€Ï￾χαῖος?
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Post by annis » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:21 am

Something like á¾￾δαῖος, I would think.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:43 am

Awesome, thanks, Will.


What about the difference between biogenic and biogenetic — which is more Greek?
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Modern Greek equivalents

Post by Psilord79 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:46 pm

Just out of pure curiosity, these are (to the best of my knowledge) the equivalents in Modern Greek of some of the words in this thread.

- stratosphere = στÏ￾ατόσφαιÏ￾α
- mineralogy = μεταλλειολογία, οÏ￾υκτολογί
- biogenic = βιογενετικός
- biogenetic = βιογενετικός
- exobiology = εξωβιολογία
- Hadean = άδειος (as in ‘Hadeon eon’ = άδειος αιώνας, or just καταÏ￾χαιοζωικός αιώνας)

No idea about ‘seismicity’, but the ending -city seems to follow the example given by Thomas GR, since ‘audacity’ = τολμηÏ￾ότητα, ‘velocity’ = ταχÏ￾τητα, ‘capacity’ = ικανότητα etc.
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Post by mingshey » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:58 am

IreneY wrote:Oh c'mon! At least all of these are better than paraskevidekatriaphobia which I just could not believe anyone came up with when I first heard of it. :lol: Good Greek? Perhaps. Awful tongue twister? You bet!


Having dipped my toes a bit in modern Greek, it took about five seconds before I could decipher this conconction. ;-)


As far as I am informed of, if the Greek στÏ￾ατός(army) and Latin stratus(layer) does not have some common ancient etymology, strato-sphere is a mixture of latin and greek. And it is rather a meteorological term than geological.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:18 am

Thanks for the responses.

So, biogenic and biogenetic are both rendered by βιογενετικός in modern Greek — what about "anthropogenic"? Should that be "anthropogenetic" as well?
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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:40 am

My impression is, there is a slight difference between "genic" and "genetic". "Genic" is referred in a closer sense to the genes, so in modern Greek "γονιδιακό" is used, from "γονίδιο", the gene. "Genetic", "γενετικό" is a more broader term for specimen or breed heredity. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:23 am

So what's really bugging me is — classically — is there more reason for -genic as a suffix rather than -genetic? Are there any classical examples of something even remotely similar from which I might draw a comparison or a conclusion?
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Post by Lucus Eques » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:50 am

I'm kind of perplexed that no one here, of all places, should have an answer — even an ambiguous one. I know, I'm into the boring science stuff :) still I appreciate the thoughts you've offered so far.

I offer a new distinction, submitted for your approval or criticism, with the root á½￾ βιός:


BIOTIC = living, once living; organic.

Biota are the living part of a geologic system while abiota are the inert rocks.


BIOGENIC = created by life, formed as a result of life.

For example, my research project and undergraduate thesis focuses on biogenic nitrogen as a potential tracer for the ancient Martian biosphere.


BIOGENETIC = associated with life, typical of life, coevolved with life, indicative of life.

In exoplanetology, if we discover a planet with a signature of O2, that would suggest a biogenetic atmosphere.


What do you think?
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Portuguese suffixes

Post by Psilord79 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:24 pm

No idea on how this might help, if at all, but these are the definitions given by the Houaiss dictionary for Portuguese -gênico and -genético (translated by me):

-gênico
postpositive, conected to -genia and the notion of ‘origin, descendant line, race’, in that the suffix -ico works as an adjective creator; therefore, all nouns listed under -genia have adjectives in -gênico, according to the pattern androgenia:androgênico.

-genético
postpositive, from -gênese + -ico, according the Greek pattern; all nouns in -gênese have, even when not in the dictionary, adjectives of this type [e.g. biogênese:biogenético].

Houaiss does give e.g. biogenia and biogênese as synonyms / variants, and both words dating back to 1899. As for the adjectives, though, it differs slightly in that not only biogenético is older (dating back to 1899 as well, while biogênico dates back to c. 1913), but also in the definitions themselves:

biogenético
related or proper to biogênese.

biogênico
1. related to biogenia 2. essential to life 3. that which makes life possible 4. produced by the action of living organisms.

However, being a language dictionary, and not specifically a biology / sciences dictionary, I wouldn’t know much of ‘laymanship’ there is in those lines.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:08 am

Obrigado! That's very cool, thanks. That would mean that, structurally at least, both -genic and -genetic are justified classically.

So then, as you said, but Englishwise, -GENIC is from -GENY while -GENETIC is from -GENESIS.

How then would you distinguish, say, anthropogenic from anthropogenetic?
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Post by Psilord79 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:11 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:How then would you distinguish, say, anthropogenic from anthropogenetic?

I myself wouldn’t know how. Departing from the Houaiss dictionary again, just for the sake of parallelism with English, leads to the two being considered synonyms / variants, with antropogênico being older than antropogenético (1899 and 20th century, respectively). And then, also dating back to 1899, there is the variation antropogenésico, treated by Houaiss as a ‘non-preferred form’.

Their respective nouns are all considered synonyms / variants as well: antropogenia (1858), antropogênese (1949), and antropogenesia (1899). Houaiss treats the second as the main entry to which the other two point.
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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:17 am

Yeah, "anthrogenesic" would be just wrong.

Here's a full suite of terms, having to do with mountain building:

orogen
orogeny
- orogenic
orogenesis
- orogenetic


What meanings would you Hellenists ascribe to these words, based on etymology and morphology? I'll tell you that "orogen" is used synonymously with "mountain range" — is this legitimate?

Also, what is the difference in usage and meaning between the endings -ία and -εσις ? This at present my fundamental quaere.
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Post by IreneY » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:46 pm

Hmmm I can't answer your question fully I am afraid.

Orogenesis, to me, means the process of mountain creation and orogenetic is of course its adjective. For instance (and I have NO idea if the way I read the term is the right one), earthquakes are orogenetic events. I would personally give the same meaning to "orogeny" and "orogenic".

I just cannot see how "orogen" can be synonymous to "mountain range" unless the "-gen" suffix has nothing to do with "genetes" (γενέτης) or genesis or anything of the kind.

As for the -ια/-εσις I am pretty sure (though all my books are still packed) that, at least in the case of genesis, the "s" is part of the stem, genes-is. But with not books available I cannot tell you where that "s" comes from.

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