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Swedification patterns of Latin and Greek affixes in clinical text

  • Gintarė Grigonytė (a1), Maria Kvist (a2), Mats Wirén (a3), Sumithra Velupillai (a4) and Aron Henriksson (a5)...

Swedish medical language is rich with Latin and Greek terminology which has undergone a Swedification since the 1980s. However, many original expressions are still used by clinical professionals. The goal of this study is to obtain precise quantitative measures of how the foreign terminology is manifested in Swedish clinical text. To this end, we explore the use of Latin and Greek affixes in Swedish medical texts in three genres: clinical text, scientific medical text and online medical information for laypersons. More specifically, we use frequency lists derived from tokenised Swedish medical corpora in the three domains, and extract word pairs belonging to types that display both the original and Swedified spellings. We describe six distinct patterns explaining the variation in the usage of Latin and Greek affixes in clinical text. The results show that to a large extent affixes in clinical text are Swedified and that prefixes are used more conservatively than suffixes.

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Nordic Journal of Linguistics
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