The article is concerned with the consideration of the phenomenon of synonymy in the terminology system of gender linguistics.
Gender linguistics is a new linguistic direction, the representatives of which study the gender aspects of language and speech with the help of the linguistic conceptual apparatus. Correspondingly, the terminology of gender linguistics is a set of correlated with this field of knowledge terms, which are connected with each other on the conceptual, lexical semantic, word formation and grammatical levels.
Despite the considerable attention of scientists to the problems of synonymy in terminology, there is no single agreement on this phenomenon. Most Ukrainian and foreign researchers hold the opinion that synonymy in terminology is negative/undesirable. Those who insist on the importance of this phenomenon, suggest the following arguments: the complete removal of the synonymy from the terminology can only functionally weaken it, not improve; synonyms are able to perform the function of substitution and refinement in scientific texts; term-synonyms allow with the help of selection to find the most appropriate language means for the denotation of the scientific concept.
The analysis made it possible to highlight two groups of synonyms in the terminology system of gender linguistics: absolute and relative. Absolute synonyms, referring to one concept, do not have semantic differences. In the creation of synonymous constructions of this type both national and borrowed terms take part; the characteristic feature of absolute synonyms is their structural diversity. Three subgroups of the analyzed units were highlighted: a) all the components of the synonymic row are one-word terms; b) among the components of the synonymic row there are both single-word terms and terminological phrases; c) all components of the synonymic row are terminological phrases. Relative synonyms, which stand for the same concepts, but vary in the value of semantics, are represented in a much smaller number. The synonymic rows include both single-word terms and terminological phrases.
We have noted the prevalence of synonymy in the terminology system of gender linguistics. We attribute the desire for accuracy and the presence of synonyms in general literary language to the causes of this phenomenon. The existence of duplicate "us-them" pairs is also explained by the fact that linguistic gender researches were initiated in 1970s in the West, and the first Ukrainian research in this area appeared only in 1990s. Ukrainian authors also borrowed the terminology apparatus, using the works of foreign colleagues.
In general the synonymy is undesirable in the terminology. This semantic phenomenon can be justified and even reasonable in two cases: a) the early stage of the terminology systems formation (including the analyzed one), when the availability of several names of scientific concepts will eventually allow to select the most optimal nominations that meet the regulatory requirements, which in its turn will contribute to the development of the terminology in general; b) the existence of the specific equivalents of borrowed terms, which gives an incentive to the creation of its own terminology.
A small number of variant nominations were also recorded in the investigated terminology system. Considering the fact that synonyms are predominantly terms with different roots, and term variants are phonetic, morphological, accent modifications of terms with common root and syntactic modifications of word combinations, these phenomena are delimited.
Synonymy (as opposed to variation) belongs to the system relations, and therefore, the presence of synonym terms confirms the systematicity of gender linguistics terminology, indicating its development. As for the prospects of the existence of these phenomena in the researched terminology, the analysis of the developed terminology systems shows that it is impossible to completely avoid synonyms and variants, and the damage from their existence should not be exaggerated as well, because the threat of confusion, misunderstanding or non-recognition of particular terms is minimal.