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THE LINGUISTIC DIMENSION OF TERMINOLOGY: PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF TERM FORMATION

THE LINGUISTIC DIMENSION OF TERMINOLOGY: PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF TERM FORMATION,Kostas Valeontis,Elena Mantzari

THE LINGUISTIC DIMENSION OF TERMINOLOGY: PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF TERM FORMATION  
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Terminology has a twofold meaning: 1. it is the discipline concerned with the principles and methods governing the study of concepts and their designations (terms, names, symbols) in any subject field, and the job of collecting, processing, and managing relevant data, and 2. the set of terms belonging to the special language of an individual subject field. In its study of concepts and their representations in special languages, terminology is multidisciplinary, since it borrows its fundamental tools and concepts from a number of disciplines (e.g. logic, ontology, linguistics, information science and other specific fields) and adapts them appropriately in order to cover particularities in its own area. The interdisciplinarity of terminology results from the multifaceted character of terminological units, as linguistic items (linguistics), as conceptual elements (logic, ontology, cognitive sciences) and as vehicles of communication in both scientific and generic language contexts. Accordingly, the theory of terminology can be identified as having three different dimensions: the cognitive, the linguistic, and the communicative dimension (Sager: 1990). The linguistic dimension of the theory of terminology can be detected mainly in the linguistic mechanisms that set the patterns for term formation and term forms. In this paper, we will focus on the presentation of general linguistic principles concerning term formation, during primary naming of an original concept in a source language and secondary term formation in a target language. Special reference will be made to the application of these principles in the Greek language. Linguistic aspects of term formation are of major interest to terminologists, terminographers and subject field specialists, but also to translators, interpreters and technical writers; especially when translators happen to work with less widely used languages such as Greek, where the lack of adequately developed reference tools such as specialized dictionaries and glossaries very often compels them to become neologists. 1. The multi-dimensional character of terminology The term "ορολογία" (terminology)2 has two meanings: 1. the scientific field pertaining to the study of relations between concepts and their designations (terms, names and symbols) and the formulation of principles and methods governing these relations in any given subject field; and the task of collecting, processing, managing and presenting terminological data in one or more languages, as well as 2. the set of terms belonging to the special language of a specific subject field.
Published in 2006.
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