Terms that are used throughout this thesis in various contexts and that have a
particular usage have to be clearly defined. Above some terms were already
mentioned without further explanation due to the introductory character of
the first chapter.
- Language for Special Purposes: (cf. 1.3.2)
Full form of LSP.
- Lingua franca: A lingua
franca is a language used by people of different native languages to
communicate with each other. For example, during a lot of international scientific
conferences English is used for lectures and discussions. Some linguae francae
are conglomerates of different languages, resulting in a pidgin.
- LSP: Short form of Language for Special
Purposes. LSP is a language used in a specific context, understood by the
knowledge community it is meant for. Sometimes LSP is used synonymously with
Terminology. LSP also covers larger phrases, different sentence
structures and collocation.
- Pivot Language: A pivot language
is a language used for communication between people with different native languages
like a lingua franca. Pivot languages can form an instance in the
translation process in multilingual environments. A text of language A is
translated into the pivot language B and from this pivot-language B into
languages C, D, E, F, etc.
- Term: A term is the language sign for a
concept. This language sign does not necessarily have to be a single word,
but it can also be a set of words -- a fixed phrase -- used only to denote
a specific concept. Terms are not language independent while concepts are
(for a discussion of language independence of concepts see
126.96.36.199). For some terminologists terms are only one
word expressions. This leads to numerous difficulties because some languages
do not form terms by compounding but by collocation. The advantage of using
term for one word expressions only is easier recognition of boundaries
(both electronically and manually). Most terminologists will accept short
phrases of two or three words as terms.
Rules for the creation of terms are for example mentioned in British Standards Institution (1963). Different forms of terms are possible:
- names of the developers/founders/influential persons
- derivation from existing terms
- combination/compounding of existing terms
- borrowing from other languages
- shortening of existing technical terms
It is also possible that a term is formed with a mixture of two or more of these rules.
Invented terms often show a tendency to include relations to other concepts
in their lexical form, either by derivation from existing terms showing the
relation to another concept or by a combination of existing terms resulting in
compounds. In these cases, concept systems and notational systems are mostly
congruent at this stage. Scientific progress may result in a change of
the concept that is not represented by the lexical representation any more.
For example, in former times the terms sunset or sunrise were understood
literally, but because of an increased knowledge of astronomy today they do
not relate to rising and setting any more.
The usage of invented terms is influenced by:
- Phonotactics of languages: Some terms might have a problematic
structure, i.e. they do not fit into the phonotactic system of a language.
This might happen with acronyms.
- Related terms: If a term is already well established a new
term will probably not be used.
- Frequency of use: On the one hand, if a term can be so specific that it is
hardly used by anybody it will not be established. On the other hand, a
term might be established, even if phonotactics make it hard to pronounce.
Nevertheless it is possible that invented terms which are not established will
find their way into dictionaries -- because they once were established or
due to further development another term substituted an older term --
termbanks and standards such as ISO and DIN (Deutsches
Institut für Normung) . To prevent the further use of such deprecated terms, some terminology management systems
provide a way to store information on the usage of a term
- Termbank: Short form of
Terminology data bank. Is regardes as synonymously with termbase. See
- Termbase: Short form of
Terminology database . A termbase is the
collection of information on a term or concept in a structured,
electronically readable way combined with a terminology management system.
It is mostly used synonymously with termbank, though some terminologists
distinguish them. If they are distinguished, terminology databases do not
include the organisational environment but termbanks do. As long as the
organisational environment is irrelevant for the theories and discussion, they
will be used synonymously.
A terminologist is a scientist in terminological science. Sometimes the term is also used for a person working on a termbank.
Next: Applications for and users
Up: Terminology Science -- a
Previous: Relations in a concept
Fri May 21 13:04:11 MET DST 1999