The Terminology of Cryptocurrency Domain: Semantics, Forms and Variations

  • Robertas Stunžinas


    This article deals with Lithuanian cryptocurrency terminology from electronic discourse. The aim of the article is to determine form, semantics and variations of Lithuanian cryptocurrency terms. Variations of terms are evaluated according to the Lithuanian language and terminology requirements. Terminology is taken from websites, blogs, chat sites, term bases and other information posted online. Material has been collected using „Google“ search engine to look for English cryptocurrency terms in Lithuanian texts, Lithuanian terms having components kripto(-), kriptografinis and other associative combinations. Online English vocabularies of cryptocurrency terms were used as the basis for searching for English and Lithuanian cryptocurrency terms. Terms denoting cryptocurrencies, technologies and operations of cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency miners and their actions are analyzed in respect of semantics, form, variation and terminological precision. Overall 151 terms denoting 51 concepts are analyzed.
    Analysis shows that variety, metaphoricity and irregularity of terminology of cryptocurrencies is caused by novelty, diversity, absence of regulation of this domain and intentional following of English terms. The majority of concepts have more than one denotation and texts of spoken language contain plentiful foreign words, part of which are unadapted loan words.
    Variability is the characteristic feature of this domain – more than two thirds of concepts have more than one denotation. Variability is particularly specific to terms, denoting cryptocurrencies and their smaller parts. This abundance of variations could have been caused by lack of clarity of concepts and poor understanding of their essential characteristics, attempts to use calques of English terms, use of terms in incor-rect meanings, designating different concepts by the same terms.
    The figurative nature of cryptocurrency terminology could have been a caused by the influence of English language. Metaphoricity is specific to main terms of this domain – according to the similarity of function payment measure is named using the terms valiuta (currency), pinigai (money). Methonymic nomination is used for denoting smaller parts of cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer network. The majority of figurative terms have appeared due to the influence of English terminology and only small part of terms are traditional metaphors and used in term dictionaries.
    In standardizing cryptocurrency terminology the principles of terminological clarity, precision and correctness should be taken into account and term dictionaries of various subject fields (computing, economics, engineering etc.) as well as dictionaries of standard language should be taken as the basis for the creation of cryptocurrency terminology.

Terminology and the Present