International Scientific Vocabulary

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Encyclopedia
International scientific vocabulary (ISV) comprises scientific and specialized words whose language of origin may or may not be certain, but which are in current use in several modern languages. The name "International Scientific Vocabulary" was first used by Philip Gove in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary refers to the line of dictionaries first developed by Noah Webster in the early 19th century, and also to numerous unrelated dictionaries that added Webster's name just to share his prestige. The term is a genericized trademark in the U.S.A...

(1961). As noted by Crystal, science is an especially productive field for new coinages.

According to Webster's Third, "some ISV words (like haploid) have been created by taking a word with a rather general and simple meaning from one of the languages of antiquity, usually Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, and conferring upon it a very specific and complicated meaning for the purposes of modern scientific discourse." An ISV word is typically a classical compound
Classical compound
Classical compounds are compound words composed from Latin or Ancient Greek root words. A large portion of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other Western European languages consists of classical compounds. For example, bio- combines with -graphy to form biography...

 or a derivative which "gets only its raw materials, so to speak, from antiquity." Its morphology may vary across languages.

The online version of Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (Merriam-Webster, 2002) adds that the ISV "consists of words or other linguistic forms current in two or more languages" that "differ from New Latin in being adapted to the structure of the individual languages in which they appear." In other words, ISV terms are often made with Greek, Latin, or other combining forms, but each language pronounces the resulting neo-lexemes within its own phonemic "comfort zone," and makes morphological connections using its normal morphological system.

McArthur characterizes ISV words and morphemes as "translinguistic", explaining that they operate "in many languages that serve as mediums for education, culture, science, and technology." Besides European languages, such as Russian, Swedish, English, and Spanish, ISV lexical items also function in Japanese, Malay, Philippine languages, and other Asian languages. According to McArthur, no other set of words and morphemes is so international.

The ISV is one of the concepts behind the development and standardization of Interlingua
Interlingua
Interlingua is an international auxiliary language , developed between 1937 and 1951 by the International Auxiliary Language Association...

. Scientific and medical terms in Interlingua are largely of Greco-Latin origin, but, like most Interlingua words, they appear in a wide range of languages. Interlingua's vocabulary is established using a group of control languages selected because they radiate words into, and absorb words from, a large number of other languages. A prototyping technique then selects the most recent common ancestor of each eligible Interlingua word or affix. The word or affix takes a contemporary form based on the control languages. This procedure is meant to give Interlingua the most generally international vocabulary possible.

Words and word roots that have different meanings from those in the original languages


This is a list of scientific words and word roots
Root (linguistics)
The root word is the primary lexical unit of a word, and of a word family , which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents....

 which have different meanings from in the original languages.
word or root scientific meaning original language original word original meaning notes
andro-, -ander stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

Greek ἀνδρ-, ἀνηρ man
Man
The term man is used for an adult human male . However, man is sometimes used to refer to humanity as a whole...

in flowers of flowering plants
gynaec-, -gyne carpel Greek γυναικ-, γυνη woman
Woman
A woman , pl: women is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent...

capno- carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

Greek καπνός smoke
Smoke
Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass. It is commonly an unwanted by-product of fires , but may also be used for pest...

electro- electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

Greek ἤλεκτρον amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

via static electricity
Static electricity
Static electricity refers to the build-up of electric charge on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground or are quickly neutralized by a discharge. Static electricity can be contrasted with current electricity, which can be delivered...

 from rubbing amber
-itis inflammation
Inflammation
Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process...

 
Greek -ῖτις pertaining to
thorax
Thorax
The thorax is a division of an animal's body that lies between the head and the abdomen.-In tetrapods:...

chest
Chest
The chest is a part of the anatomy of humans and various other animals. It is sometimes referred to as the thorax or the bosom.-Chest anatomy - Humans and other hominids:...

 (anatomy)
Greek θώραξ breastplate
Breastplate
A breastplate is a device worn over the torso to protect it from injury, as an item of religious significance, or as an item of status. A breastplate is sometimes worn by mythological beings as a distinctive item of clothing.- Armour :...

toxo- poison
Poison
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

Greek τόξον bow (weapon)
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

via "poisoned arrow". It means "bow" in Toxodon
Toxodon
Toxodon is an extinct mammal of the late Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs about 2.6 million to 16,500 years ago. It was indigenous to South America, and was probably the most common large-hoofed mammal in South America at the time of its existence....

macro- big Greek μακρός long
In names of biological taxa
-ceras ammonite
Ammonite
Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct subclass within the Molluscan class Cephalopoda which are more closely related to living coleoids Ammonite, as a zoological or paleontological term, refers to any member of the Ammonoidea an extinct...

Greek κέρας horn
Horn (anatomy)
A horn is a pointed projection of the skin on the head of various animals, consisting of a covering of horn surrounding a core of living bone. True horns are found mainly among the ruminant artiodactyls, in the families Antilocapridae and Bovidae...

via resemblance to a ram
Domestic sheep
Sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name "sheep" applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries...

's horn
-crinus crinoid
Crinoid
Crinoids are marine animals that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms . Crinoidea comes from the Greek word krinon, "a lily", and eidos, "form". They live both in shallow water and in depths as great as 6,000 meters. Sea lilies refer to the crinoids which, in their adult form, are...

Greek κρίνος lily extracted from name "crinoid
Crinoid
Crinoids are marine animals that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms . Crinoidea comes from the Greek word krinon, "a lily", and eidos, "form". They live both in shallow water and in depths as great as 6,000 meters. Sea lilies refer to the crinoids which, in their adult form, are...

"
grapto- graptolite
Graptolite
Graptolithina is a class in the animal phylum Hemichordata, the members of which are known as Graptolites. Graptolites are fossil colonial animals known chiefly from the Upper Cambrian through the Lower Carboniferous...

Greek γραπτός writing via resemblance of fossil
-gyrinus labyrinthodont Greek γυρῖνος tadpole
Tadpole
A tadpole or polliwog is the wholly aquatic larval stage in the life cycle of an amphibian, particularly that of a frog or toad.- Appellation :...

-lestes predator Greek λῃστής robber
-mimus ornithomimid Greek μῖμος mime
Mime
The word mime is used to refer to a mime artist who uses a theatrical medium or performance art involving the acting out of a story through body motions without use of speech.Mime may also refer to:* Mime, an alternative word for lip sync...

extracted from name Ornithomimus
Ornithomimus
Ornithomimus is a genus of ornithomimid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America.In 1890 Ornithomimus velox was named by Othniel Charles Marsh on the basis of a foot and partial hand from the Maastrichtian Denver Formation. Another seventeen species have been named since...

= "bird mimic"
-mys rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

Greek μῦς mouse
Mouse
A mouse is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse . It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. This rodent is eaten by large birds such as hawks and eagles...

including in Phoberomys
-saurus reptile, dinosaur Greek σαῦρος lizard
Lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

-stega, -stege stegocephalian Greek στέγη roof
Roof
A roof is the covering on the uppermost part of a building. A roof protects the building and its contents from the effects of weather. Structures that require roofs range from a letter box to a cathedral or stadium, dwellings being the most numerous....

via their cranium roofs as fossils
-suchus,
-champsus
crocodilian Ancient
Egyptian
σοῦχος,
χαμψαι (pl.)
as quoted by ancient Greek authors
as Egyptian words for "crocodile"
therium usually mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

Greek θηρίον beast, animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

Names of bones
femur
Femur
The femur , or thigh bone, is the most proximal bone of the leg in tetrapod vertebrates capable of walking or jumping, such as most land mammals, birds, many reptiles such as lizards, and amphibians such as frogs. In vertebrates with four legs such as dogs and horses, the femur is found only in...

thighbone Latin femur thigh
Thigh
In humans the thigh is the area between the pelvis and the knee. Anatomically, it is part of the lower limb.The single bone in the thigh is called the femur...

Classical Latin
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 genitive often "feminis"
fibula (a leg bone) Latin fibula brooch
Brooch
A brooch ; also known in ancient times as a fibula; is a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments. It is usually made of metal, often silver or gold but sometimes bronze or some other material...

tibia & fibula looked like a brooch
Brooch
A brooch ; also known in ancient times as a fibula; is a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments. It is usually made of metal, often silver or gold but sometimes bronze or some other material...

 and its pin
radius
Radius (bone)
The radius is one of the two large bones of the forearm, the other being the ulna. It extends from the lateral side of the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist and runs parallel to the ulna, which exceeds it in length and size. It is a long bone, prism-shaped and slightly curved longitudinally...

(an arm bone) Latin radius spoke
Spoke
A spoke is one of some number of rods radiating from the center of a wheel , connecting the hub with the round traction surface....

tibia
Tibia
The tibia , shinbone, or shankbone is the larger and stronger of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates , and connects the knee with the ankle bones....

shinbone Latin tibia flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

via animal tibias modified into flutes
ulna
Ulna
The ulna is one of the two long bones in the forearm, the other being the radius. It is prismatic in form and runs parallel to the radius, which is shorter and smaller. In anatomical position The ulna is one of the two long bones in the forearm, the other being the radius. It is prismatic in form...

(an arm bone) Latin ulna elbow
Elbow
The human elbow is the region surrounding the elbow-joint—the ginglymus or hinge joint in the middle of the arm. Three bones form the elbow joint: the humerus of the upper arm, and the paired radius and ulna of the forearm....

, cubit
Cubit
The cubit is a traditional unit of length, based on the length of the forearm. Cubits of various lengths were employed in many parts of the world in Antiquity, in the Middle Ages and into Early Modern Times....

 measure

Words and word roots that have one meaning from Latin and another meaning from Greek


This is a list of scientific words and word roots
Root (linguistics)
The root word is the primary lexical unit of a word, and of a word family , which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents....

 which have a meanings from Latin and another meaning from Greek.
word or root scientific meaning
from Latin
example Latin word Latin meaning scientific meaning
from Greek
example Greek word Greek meaning notes
alg- alga alga alga seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

pain
Pain
Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

analgesic
Analgesic
An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

ἄλγος pain
crema- burn cremation
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

cremare to burn (tr.
Transitivity (grammatical category)
In linguistics, transitivity is a property of verbs that relates to whether a verb can take direct objects and how many such objects a verb can take...

)
hang, be suspended cremaster
Cremaster
Cremaster is a term derived from the Greek verb κρεμάννυμι = "I hang ", not from Latin cremare = "to burn". It may refer to:* The cremaster muscle, part of genital anatomy in human males** Cremaster reflex, a reflex in the muscle...

κρεμάννυμι I hang (tr.
Transitivity (grammatical category)
In linguistics, transitivity is a property of verbs that relates to whether a verb can take direct objects and how many such objects a verb can take...

)

Other differences


Another difference between scientific terms and classical Latin and Greek is that many compounded scientific terms do not elide
Elision
Elision is the omission of one or more sounds in a word or phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce...

 the inflection
Inflection
In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, grammatical mood, grammatical voice, aspect, person, number, gender and case...

 vowel at the end of a root
Root (linguistics)
The root word is the primary lexical unit of a word, and of a word family , which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents....

 before another root or prefix that starts with a vowel, e.g. gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is marked by severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract involving both the stomach and small intestine resulting in acute diarrhea and vomiting. It can be transferred by contact with contaminated food and water...

; but elision happens in gastrectomy
Gastrectomy
A gastrectomy is a partial or full surgical removal of the stomach.-Indications:Gastrectomies are performed to treat cancer and perforations of the stomach wall....

 (not gastroectomy).

See Methanol#History for a word formed with Greek language errors: wrong Greek word used for the French word bois = "wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

"; wrong Greek word combining order influenced by French usage; and an apparent suffix extracted and used to form other words.

The Greek word τέρας (τέρατο-) = "monster
Monster
A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions...

" is usually used to mean "monster (abnormal)" (e.g. teratology
Teratology
Teratology is the study of abnormalities of physiological development. It is often thought of as the study of human birth defects, but it is much broader than that, taking in other non-birth developmental stages, including puberty; and other non-human life forms, including plants.- Etymology :The...

, teratogen), but some biological names use it to mean "monster (enormous)" (e.g. the extinct animals Teratornis
Teratornis
Teratornis merriami was a huge North American teratorn, with a wingspan of around 3.5 to 3.8 meters and a wing area of 17.5 square meters, standing an estimated 75 cm tall and weighing about 15 kg. It was somewhat larger than the extant Andean Condor and nearly two double the weight of the...

(a condor
Condor
Condor is the name for two species of New World vultures, each in a monotypic genus. They are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere.They are:* The Andean Condor which inhabits the Andean mountains....

 with a 12-foot wingspan) and Terataspis (a trilobite
Trilobite
Trilobites are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period , and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before...

 2 feet long)).

See also

  • Binomial nomenclature
    Binomial nomenclature
    Binomial nomenclature is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages...

  • Combining form
  • Classical compound
    Classical compound
    Classical compounds are compound words composed from Latin or Ancient Greek root words. A large portion of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other Western European languages consists of classical compounds. For example, bio- combines with -graphy to form biography...

  • Greek and Latin roots in English
  • Hybrid word
    Hybrid word
    A hybrid word is a word which etymologically has one part derived from one language and another part derived from a different language.-Common hybrids:The most common form of hybrid word in English is one which combines etymologically Latin and Greek parts...

  • Interlingua
    Interlingua
    Interlingua is an international auxiliary language , developed between 1937 and 1951 by the International Auxiliary Language Association...

  • Internationalism (linguistics)
    Internationalism (linguistics)
    In linguistics, an internationalism or international word is a loanword that occurs in several languages with the same or at least similar meaning and etymology. These words exist in "several different languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from the ultimate source"...

  • Latinization (literature)
  • Lexicography
    Lexicography
    Lexicography is divided into two related disciplines:*Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries....

  • List of abbreviations used in medical prescriptions
  • List of Latin abbreviations
  • List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names
  • List of medical roots, suffixes and prefixes
  • List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents
  • List of Latin words with English derivatives
  • List of Greek words with English derivatives
  • LSP dictionary
    LSP dictionary
    A language for specific purposes dictionary is a dictionary that intends to describe a variety of one or more languages used by experts within a particular subject field...

  • Medical dictionary
    Medical dictionary
    A medical dictionary is a lexicon for words used in medicine. The three major English language medical dictionaries are Stedman's, Taber's, and Dorland's Pocket Medical Dictionary. Other significant medical dictionaries are distributed by Elsevier, the world's largest publisher of medical and...

  • Medical terminology
    Medical terminology
    Medical terminology is a vocabulary for accurately describing the human body and associated components, conditions, processes and process in a science-based manner. Some examples are: R.I.C.E., trapezius, and latissimus dorsi. It is to be used in the medical and nursing fields...

  • Scientific terminology
    Scientific terminology
    While studying nature, scientists often encounter or create new material or immaterial objects and concepts and are compelled to name them. Most of those names are known only to professionals. However, due to popularization of science, they gradually become part of common languages...

  • Systematic name
    Systematic name
    A systematic name is a name given in a systematic way to one unique group, organism, object or chemical substance, out of a specific population or collection...

  • Terminology
    Terminology
    Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and compound words that in specific contexts are given specific meanings, meanings that may deviate from the meaning the same words have in other contexts and in everyday language. The discipline Terminology studies among other...


External links