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Математика Term and terminology.
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Terminology constitutes the greatest part of every language vocabulary. It is also its most intensely developing part, i.e. the class giving the largest number of new formations. Terminology of a. language consists of many systems of terms. We shall call a term any word or word-group used to name a notion characteristic of some special field of knowledge, industry or culture. The scope and content of the notion that a ‘term serves to express are specified by definitions in literature on the subject.

Now terminology is precisely that part of lexis where this influence is not only of paramount importance, but where it is recognised so that terminological systems are purposefully controlled. Almost every system of special terminology is nowadays fixed and analysed in glossaries approved by authorities, special commissions and eminent scholars.

A term is, in many respects, a very peculiar type of word. An ideal term should be monosemantic and, when used within its own sphere, does not depend upon the micro-context, provided it is not expressed by a figurative variant of a polysemantic word. Its meaning remains constant until some new discovery or invention changes the referent or the notion. Polysemy, when it arises,1 is a drawback, so that all the speakers and writers on special subjects should be very careful to avoid it. Polysemy may be tolerated in one form only, namely if the same term has various meanings in different fields of science. The terms alphabet and word, for example, have in mathematics a meaning very different from those accepted in linguistics.

Being mostly independent of the context a term can have no contextual meaning whatever. The only meaning possible is a denotational free meaning. A term is intended to ensure a one-to-one correspondence

No emotional colouring or evaluation are possible when the term is used within its proper sphere.

A term can obtain a figurative or emotionally coloured meaning only when taken out of its sphere and used in literary or colloquial speech. But in that case it ceases to be a term and its denotational meaning may also become very vague. It turns into an ordinary word. The adjective atomic used to describe the atomic structure of matter was until 1945 as emotionally neutral as words like quantum or parallelogram. But since Hiroshima and the ensuing nuclear arms race it has assumed a new implication, so that the common phrase this atomic age, which taken literally has no meaning at all, is now used to denote an age of great scientific progress, but also holds connotations of ruthless menace and monstrous destruction.

The terminology of a branch of science is not simply a sum total of its terms but a definite system reflecting the system of its notions. Terminological systems may be regarded as intersecting sets, because some terms belong simultaneously to several terminological systems.

The origin of terms shows several main channels, three of which are specific for terminology. These specific ways are:

1. Formation of terminological phrases with subsequent clipping, ellipsis, blending, abbreviation: transistor receiver → transistor → trannie; television text → teletext; ecological architecture → ecotecture; extremely low frequency → ELF.

2.The use of combining forms from Latin and Greek like aerodrome, aerodynamics, cyclotron, microfilm, telegenic, telegraph, thermonuclear, telemechanics, supersonic. The process is common to terminology in many languages.

3.Borrowing from another terminological system within the same language whenever there is any affinity between the respective fields. Sea terminology, for instance, lent many words to aviation vocabulary which in its turn made the starting point for the terminology adopted in the conquest of space. If we turn back to linguistics, we shall come across many terms borrowed from rhetoric: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and others.

Terms are not separated from the rest of the vocabulary, and it is rather hard to say where the line should be drawn.

Due to the expansion of popular interest in the achievements of science and technology new terms appear more and more frequently in newspapers and popular magazines and even in fiction.


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    Terminology constitutes the greatest part of every language vocabulary. It is also its most intensely developing part, i.e. the class giving the largest number of new formations. Terminology of a. language consists of many systems of terms. We shall call a term any word or word-group used to name a notion characteristic of some special field of knowledge, industry or culture. The scope and content of the notion that a ‘term serves to express are specified by definitions in literature on the... [читать подробенее]


  • - Term and terminology.

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