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"Nomenclatura" redirects here. Nomenclature_sentence_0

For the Soviet elites, see Nomenklatura. Nomenclature_sentence_1

Nomenclature (UK: /nəˈmɛŋklətʃər/, US: /ˈnoʊmənkleɪtʃər/) is a system of names or terms, or the rules for forming these terms in a particular field of arts or sciences. Nomenclature_sentence_2

The principles of naming vary from the relatively informal conventions of everyday speech to the internationally agreed principles, rules and recommendations that govern the formation and use of the specialist terms used in scientific and any other disciplines. Nomenclature_sentence_3

Naming "things" is a part of general human communication using words and language: it is an aspect of everyday taxonomy as people distinguish the objects of their experience, together with their similarities and differences, which observers identify, name and . Nomenclature_sentence_4

The use of names, as the many different kinds of nouns embedded in different languages, connects nomenclature to theoretical linguistics, while the way humans mentally structure the world in relation to word meanings and experience relates to the philosophy of language. Nomenclature_sentence_5

Onomastics, the study of proper names and their origins, includes anthroponymy (concerned with human names, including personal names, surnames and nicknames); toponymy (the study of place names) and etymology (the derivation, history and use of names) as revealed through comparative and descriptive linguistics. Nomenclature_sentence_6

The scientific need for simple, stable and internationally accepted systems for naming objects of the natural world has generated many formal nomenclatural systems. Nomenclature_sentence_7

Probably the best known of these nomenclatural systems are the five codes of biological nomenclature that govern the Latinized scientific names of organisms. Nomenclature_sentence_8

Etymology Nomenclature_section_0

The word nomenclature is derived from the Latin nomen ('name'), and calare ('to call'). Nomenclature_sentence_9

The Latin term refers to a list of names, as does the word nomenclator, which can also indicate a provider or announcer of names. Nomenclature_sentence_10

Onomastics and nomenclature Nomenclature_section_1

Main article: Onomastics Nomenclature_sentence_11

The study of proper names is known as onomastics, which has a wide-ranging scope that encompasses all names, languages, and geographical regions, as well as cultural areas. Nomenclature_sentence_12

The distinction between onomastics and nomenclature is not readily clear: onomastics is an unfamiliar discipline to most people, and the use of nomenclature in an academic sense is also not commonly known. Nomenclature_sentence_13

Although the two fields integrate, nomenclature concerns itself more with the rules and conventions that are used for the formation of names. Nomenclature_sentence_14

Influence of social, political, religious factors Nomenclature_section_2

Due to social, political, religious, and cultural motivations, things that are the same may be given different names, while different things may be given the same name; closely related similar things may be considered separate, while on the other hand significantly different things might be considered the same. Nomenclature_sentence_15

For example, Hindi and Urdu are both closely related, mutually intelligible Hindustani languages (one being sanskritised and the other arabised). Nomenclature_sentence_16

However, they are favored as separate languages by Hindus and Muslims respectively, as seen in the context of Hindu-Muslim conflict resulting in the violence of the 1947 Partition of India. Nomenclature_sentence_17

In contrast, mutually unintelligible dialects that differ considerably in structure, such as Moroccan Arabic, Yemeni Arabic, and Lebanese Arabic, are considered to be the same language due to the pan-Islamism religious identity. Nomenclature_sentence_18

Cultural nomenclature Nomenclature_section_3

Main article: Philosophy of language Nomenclature_sentence_19

Names provide us with a way of structuring and mapping the world in our minds so, in some way, they mirror or represent the objects of our experience. Nomenclature_sentence_20

Names, words, language, meaning Nomenclature_section_4

Main articles: Proper name (philosophy) and Semantics Nomenclature_sentence_21

Elucidating the connections between language (especially names and nouns), meaning, and the way we perceive the world has provided a rich field of study for philosophers and linguists. Nomenclature_sentence_22

Relevant areas of study include: the distinction between proper names and proper nouns; as well as the relationship between names, their referents, meanings (semantics), and the structure of language. Nomenclature_sentence_23

Folk taxonomy Nomenclature_section_5

Main articles: Folk taxonomy and Binomial nomenclature Nomenclature_sentence_24

Modern scientific taxonomy has been described as "basically a Renaissance codification of folk taxonomic principles." Nomenclature_sentence_25

Formal systems of scientific nomenclature and are exemplified by biological classification. Nomenclature_sentence_26

All classification systems are established for a purpose. Nomenclature_sentence_27

The scientific classification system anchors each organism within the nested hierarchy of internationally accepted classification categories. Nomenclature_sentence_28

Maintenance of this system involves formal rules of nomenclature and periodic international meetings of review. Nomenclature_sentence_29

This modern system evolved from the folk taxonomy of prehistory. Nomenclature_sentence_30

Folk taxonomy can be illustrated through the Western tradition of horticulture and gardening. Nomenclature_sentence_31

Unlike scientific taxonomy, folk taxonomies serve many purposes. Nomenclature_sentence_32

Examples in horticulture would be the grouping of plants, and naming of these groups, according to their properties and uses: Nomenclature_sentence_33


Folk taxonomy is generally associated with the way rural or indigenous peoples use language to make sense of and organise the objects around them. Nomenclature_sentence_34

Ethnobiology frames this interpretation through either "utilitarianists" like Bronislaw Malinowski who maintain that names and classifications reflect mainly material concerns, and "intellectualists" like Claude Lévi-Strauss who hold that they spring from innate mental processes. Nomenclature_sentence_35

The literature of ethnobiological classifications was reviewed in 2006. Nomenclature_sentence_36

Folk classification is defined by the way in which members of a language community name and categorize plants and animals whereas ethnotaxonomy refers to the hierarchical structure, organic content, and cultural function of biological classification that ethnobiologists find in every society around the world. Nomenclature_sentence_37

Ethnographic studies of the naming and classification of animals and plants in non-Western societies have revealed some general principles that indicate pre-scientific man's conceptual and linguistic method of organising the biological world in a hierarchical way. Nomenclature_sentence_38

Such studies indicate that the urge to classify is a basic human instinct. Nomenclature_sentence_39


  • Nomenclature_item_1_5
    • in all languages natural groups of organisms are distinguished (present-day taxa)Nomenclature_item_1_6
    • these groups are arranged into more inclusive groups or ethnobiological categoriesNomenclature_item_1_7
    • in all languages there are about five or six ethnobiological categories of graded inclusivenessNomenclature_item_1_8
    • these groups (ethnobiological categories) are arranged hierarchically, generally into mutually exclusive ranksNomenclature_item_1_9
    • the ranks at which particular organisms are named and classified is often similar in different culturesNomenclature_item_1_10

The levels, moving from the most to least inclusive, are: Nomenclature_sentence_40


  1. "unique beginner" — e.g. plant or animal. A single all-inclusive name rarely used in folk taxonomies but loosely equivalent to an original living thing, a "common ancestor"Nomenclature_item_2_11
  2. "life form" — e.g. tree, bird, grass and fish. These are usually primary lexemes (basic linguistic units) loosely equivalent to a phylum or major biological division.Nomenclature_item_2_12
  3. "generic name" — e.g. oak, pine, robin, catfish. This is the most numerous and basic building block of all folk taxonomies, the most frequently referred to, the most important psychologically, and among the first learned by children. These names can usually be associated directly with a second level group. Like life-form names these are primary lexemes.Nomenclature_item_2_13
  4. "specific name" — e.g. white fir, post oak. More or less equivalent to species. A secondary lexeme and generally less frequent than generic names.Nomenclature_item_2_14
  5. "varietal name" — e.g. baby lima bean, butter lima bean.Nomenclature_item_2_15

In almost all cultures objects are named using one or two words equivalent to 'kind' (genus) and 'particular kind' (species). Nomenclature_sentence_41

When made up of two words (a binomial) the name usually consists of a noun (like salt, dog or star) and an adjectival second word that helps describe the first, and therefore makes the name, as a whole, more "specific," for example, lap dog, sea salt, or film star. Nomenclature_sentence_42

The meaning of the noun used for a common name may have been lost or forgotten (whelk, elm, lion, shark, pig) but when the common name is extended to two or more words much more is conveyed about the organism's use, appearance or other special properties (sting ray, poison apple, giant stinking hogweed, hammerhead shark). Nomenclature_sentence_43

These noun-adjective binomials are just like our own names with a family or surname like Simpson and another adjectival Christian or forename name that specifies which Simpson, say Homer Simpson. Nomenclature_sentence_44

It seems reasonable to assume that the form of scientific names we call binomial nomenclature is derived from this simple and practical way of constructing common names—but with the use of Latin as a universal language. Nomenclature_sentence_45

In keeping with the utilitarian view other authors maintain that ethnotaxonomies resemble more a "complex web of resemblances" than a neat hierarchy. Nomenclature_sentence_46

Names and nouns Nomenclature_section_6

Main articles: Name and Noun Nomenclature_sentence_47

A name is a label for any noun: names can identify a class or category of things; or a single thing, either uniquely or within a given context. Nomenclature_sentence_48

Names are given, for example, to humans or any other organisms, places, products—as in brand names—and even to ideas or concepts. Nomenclature_sentence_49

It is names as nouns that are the building blocks of nomenclature. Nomenclature_sentence_50

The word name is possibly derived from the Proto-Indo-European language hypothesised word nomn. Nomenclature_sentence_51

The distinction between names and nouns, if made at all, is extremely subtle, although clearly noun refers to names as lexical categories and their function within the context of language, rather that as "labels" for objects and properties. Nomenclature_sentence_52

Personal names Nomenclature_section_7

Main articles: Anthroponymy and Personal name Nomenclature_sentence_53

Human personal names, also referred to as prosoponyms, are presented, used and categorised in many ways depending on the language and culture. Nomenclature_sentence_54

In most cultures (Indonesia is one exception) it is customary for individuals to be given at least two names. Nomenclature_sentence_55

In Western culture, the first name is given at birth or shortly thereafter and is referred to as the given name, the forename, the baptismal name (if given then), or simply the first name. Nomenclature_sentence_56

In England prior to the Norman invasion of 1066, small communities of Celts, Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians generally used single names: each person was identified by a single name as either a personal name or nickname. Nomenclature_sentence_57

As the population increased, it gradually became necessary to identify people further—giving rise to names like John the butcher, Henry from Sutton, and Roger son of Richard...which naturally evolved into John Butcher, Henry Sutton, and Roger Richardson. Nomenclature_sentence_58

We now know this additional name variously as the second name, last name, family name, surname or occasionally the byname, and this natural tendency was accelerated by the Norman tradition of using surnames that were fixed and hereditary within individual families. Nomenclature_sentence_59

In combination these two names are now known as the personal name or, simply, the name. Nomenclature_sentence_60

There are many exceptions to this general rule: Westerners often insert a third or more names between the given and surnames; Chinese and Hungarian names have the family name preceding the given name; females now often retain their maiden names (their family surname) or combine, using a hyphen, their maiden name and the surname of their husband; some East Slavic nations insert the patronym (a name derived from the given name of the father) between the given and the family name; in Iceland the given name is used with the patronym, or matronym (a name derived from the given name of the mother), and surnames are rarely used. Nomenclature_sentence_61

Nicknames (sometimes called hypocoristic names) are informal names used mostly between friends. Nomenclature_sentence_62

Common names and proper names Nomenclature_section_8

Main articles: Common name and Proper name Nomenclature_sentence_63

The distinction between proper names and common names is that proper names denote a unique entity e.g. London Bridge, while common names are used in a more general sense in reference to a class of objects e.g. bridge. Nomenclature_sentence_64

Many proper names are obscure in meaning as they lack any apparent meaning in the way that ordinary words mean, probably for the practical reason that when they consist of Collective nouns, they refer to groups, even when they are inflected for the singular e.g. "committee". Nomenclature_sentence_65

Concrete nouns like “cabbage” refer to physical bodies that can be observed by at least one of the senses while abstract nouns, like “love” and “hate” refer to abstract objects. Nomenclature_sentence_66

In English, many abstract nouns are formed by adding noun-forming suffixes ('-ness', '-ity', '-tion') to adjectives or verbs e.g. "happiness," "serenity," “concentration.” Pronouns like "he", "it", "which", and "those" stand in place of nouns in noun phrases. Nomenclature_sentence_67

The capitalization of nouns varies with language and even the particular context: journals often have their own house styles for common names. Nomenclature_sentence_68

-onym nouns Nomenclature_section_9

Main article: -onym Nomenclature_sentence_69

Distinctions may be made between particular kinds of names simply by using the suffix -onym, from the Greek ónoma (ὄνομα, 'name'). Nomenclature_sentence_70

So we have, for example, hydronyms name bodies of water, synonyms are names with the same meaning, and so on. Nomenclature_sentence_71

The entire field could be described as chrematonymy—the names of things. Nomenclature_sentence_72

Toponyms Nomenclature_section_10

Main article: Toponymy Nomenclature_sentence_73

Toponyms are proper names given to various geographical features (geonyms), and also to cosmic features (cosmonyms). Nomenclature_sentence_74

This could include names of mountains, rivers, seas, villages, towns, cities, countries, planets, stars etc. Toponymy can be further divided into specialist branches, like: choronymy, the study of proper names of regions and countries; econymy, the study of proper names of villages, towns and citties; hodonymy, the study of proper names of streets and roads; hydronymy, the study of proper names of water bodies; oronymy, the study of proper names of mountains and hills, etc. Nomenclature_sentence_75

Toponymy has popular appeal because of its socio-cultural and historical interest and significance for cartography. Nomenclature_sentence_76

However, work on the etymology of toponyms has found that many place names are descriptive, honorific or commemorative but frequently they have no meaning or the meaning is obscure or lost. Nomenclature_sentence_77

Also the many categories of names are frequently interrelated. Nomenclature_sentence_78

For example, many place-names are derived from personal names (Victoria), many names of planets and stars are derived from the names of mythological characters (Venus, Neptune), and many personal names are derived from place-names, names of nations and the like (Wood, Bridge). Nomenclature_sentence_79

Scientific nomenclature Nomenclature_section_11

Nomenclature, classification, identification Nomenclature_section_12

Main articles: Taxonomy (biology) and Identification (biology) Nomenclature_sentence_80

In a strictly scientific sense, nomenclature is regarded as a part of (though distinct from) taxonomy. Nomenclature_sentence_81

Moreover, the precision demanded by science in the accurate naming of objects in the natural world has resulted in a variety of international nomenclatural codes. Nomenclature_sentence_82

Taxonomy can be defined as the study of classification including its principles, procedures and rules, while classification itself is the ordering of taxa (the objects of classification) into groups based on similarities or differences. Nomenclature_sentence_83

Doing taxonomy entails identifying, describing, and naming taxa, therefore nomenclature, in the scientific sense, is the branch of taxonomy concerned with the application of scientific names to taxa, based on a particular classification scheme, in accordance with agreed international rules and conventions. Nomenclature_sentence_84

Identification determines whether a particular organism matches a taxon that has already been classified and named – so classification must precede identification. Nomenclature_sentence_85

This procedure is sometimes referred to as determination. Nomenclature_sentence_86

Biology Nomenclature_section_13

Main article: Biological nomenclature Nomenclature_sentence_87

Although Linnaeus’ system of binomial nomenclature was rapidly adopted after the publication of his Species Plantarum and Systema Naturae in 1753 and 1758 respectively, it was a long time before there was international consensus concerning the more general rules governing biological nomenclature. Nomenclature_sentence_88

The first botanical code was produced in 1905, the zoological code in 1889 and cultivated plant code in 1953. Nomenclature_sentence_89

Agreement on the nomenclature and symbols for genes emerged in 1979. Nomenclature_sentence_90


Astronomy Nomenclature_section_14

Main article: Astronomical naming conventions Nomenclature_sentence_91

Over the last few hundred years, the number of identified astronomical objects has risen from hundreds to over a billion, and more are discovered every year. Nomenclature_sentence_92

Astronomers need universal systematic designations to unambiguously identify all of these objects using astronomical naming conventions, while assigning names to the most interesting objects and, where relevant, naming important or interesting features of those objects. Nomenclature_sentence_93


Chemistry Nomenclature_section_15

Main article: IUPAC nomenclature Nomenclature_sentence_94

The IUPAC nomenclature is a system of naming chemical compounds and for describing the science of chemistry in general. Nomenclature_sentence_95

It is maintained by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Nomenclature_sentence_96


Similar compendia exist for biochemistry (in association with the IUBMB), analytical chemistry and macromolecular chemistry. Nomenclature_sentence_97

These books are supplemented by shorter recommendations for specific circumstances which are published from time to time in the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry. Nomenclature_sentence_98

These systems can be accessed through the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Nomenclature_sentence_99

Other sciences Nomenclature_section_16


See also Nomenclature_section_17


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