Variability is traditionally treated as excessive phenomenon, but it exists on different stages of terminology formation. Variability of terms is one of the factors of language perfection. The value of variability and synonymy is still under discussion. Three main points of view on this problem can be pointed out:
1. Variability is the expression of synonymy.
2. Synonymy is the expression of variability. Lexical variants are called synonyms.
3. Variability and synonymy are different phenomena.
This article describes the synonymy and variability as two different phenomena.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the variability of eponymic terms of Ukrainian physical terminology and to classify them.
L. Boyarova defines five forms of scientific and technical terms variability:
1. Accentual variants;
2. Phonemic variants;
3. Morphological variants;
4. Derivational variants;
5. Combined variants.
Physical eponymic terms may be analyzed by:
1) Accentual variants. They occur when emphasis loses its property of meaning distinguishing. In physical terminology accentual variants are mainly connected with surname of physicist Bose.
2) Phonemic variability. The main aspects of phonemic variability are:
● Phonemic variants have different number of phonemes (лорентц-інваріантність, лоренц-інваріантність; перетворення Лорентца, перетворення Лоренца etc.).;
● Phonemic variants appears mainly in borrowed terms;
● Phonemic variants appear mainly in eponymic components of terms.
3) Morphological variability. Such type of variability characterizes term elements with grammatical value
4) Derivational variability. Those variants differ in morphemic structure but they have a common root and the same lexical and grammatical meaning. Two main ways of derivational variability are suffixal and word compounding.
5) Combined variability. It combines all mentioned above types of variability. The most common is a combination of accentual and phonemic types of variability.
A combination of phonemic and derivational types and phonemic and morphological ones are not common. Thus, such combinations are not natural for eponymic terms.