21 January 2014

Applying OSASCOMP to military terms, part 2

For Applying OSASCOMP to military terms, part 1, see the post dated 10 December 2013.
Reminder: OSASCOMP (or OSAS_COMP) = opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose (noun)
a suggested rule to ensure that a string of noun qualifiers sounds natural in English.

Under the heading Surface Navy 2014: Saab unveils Sea Giraffe 4A AESA radar, the issue of Jane's International Defence Review dated 16 January 2014, contained the following sentence:
Saab has revealed details of a new E/F-band shipborne active electronically scanned array (AESA) 3D multifunction radar based Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology.
First, I think that should read:
Saab has revealed details of a new E/F-band shipborne active electronically scanned array (AESA) 3D multifunction radar based on the Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology.
Let us now attempt to apply OSASCOMP -- that's opinion size age shape colour origin material purpose noun -- (see post below dated 2 December 2013) to the term a new E/F-band shipborne active electronically scanned array (AESA) 3D multifunction radar.

My first guess at assigning the qualifiers roles would be:
new = opinion
E/F-band = type, or more specifically, operating frequency
shipborne = type, or platform for which the product is designed
active electronically scanned array (AESA) = (Wow, that is some qualifier!) type, or more specifically, array technology
3D = type, or coverage
multifunction = type, or capability.

Comments and issues:
  • each step of the analysis presents a classification challenge
  • the classification of technical qualifiers is far more complicated than OSASCOMPN suggests
  • if multiple qualifyiers are assigned the same role, how does one determine the correct order?
  • although extraordinarily long, this elaborate string of qualifiers sounds natural to this blogger and is probably unlikely to surprise anyone used to reading technical journalism on naval matters save perhaps for the expanded form of AESA.
Clearly, OSASCOMP is not readily applicable to complex multi-element military terms.
Thus, the long-standing question raised on 2 December 2013 still awaits an answer meeting the needs of technical journalists and translators.

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