Medical term formation in English and Japanese
A study of the suffixes gram, graph and -graphy
This paper presents a translingual study of medical lexicology in English and Japanese that compares the meaning and usage of three suffixes often found in medical discourse: -gram, -graph and -graphy. By means of an in-depth observation of frequency counts and semantic profiling in actual usage, we present a proposal regarding which roots each of the suffixes allow, together with an analysis of the meaning subtleties of the affixes. This work, informed by both cognitive and corpus linguistics, advances the presence of a concurrent pattern in English-Japanese morphology within medical discourse. After presenting a number of parallelisms and differences within the corpora, the work concludes with an explanation of how and why the three suffixes under inspection display quite distinct meaning nuances that restrain them from being used at random, both in English and in Japanese.
Keywords: derivative morphology, medical terminology, Japanese, lexicology, English
Published online: 23 June 2015
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