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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


FERNANDEZ SILVA, Sabela. The influence of the disciplinary field on terminological variation: A corpus-based study in the interdisciplinary domain of fishing. Rev. signos [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.83, pp.361-388. ISSN 0718-0934.

The division of Science into disciplinary fields was traditionally explained by the fact that each discipline observes a segment of reality from a particular perspective. Therefore, each discipline had its own conceptual system and terminology. But Science has also progressed through interdisciplinary work teams, and great scientific advances have been made possible through the combination of theories, methods and concepts from different subject fields. In this context, where knowledge is built and shared by specialists from different disciplinary fields, we asked ourselves how disciplinary differences are reflected in the use of terminology. In order to do so, we analyzed the topics, concepts and term variants in a bilingual French and Galician corpus of texts about fishing, written by biologists, economists and law experts. By describing the conceptual information displayed by term variants, we were able to describe differences in the perspective in the denomination of fishing concepts among the three groups. The results show a high overlap regarding the topics and concepts and differences regarding the subset of term variants shared by the three collectives as compared to the subset of variants exclusive to each group. Shared terms are shorter, more frequent, and more basic to fishing terminology; their perspective regarding the object is neutral. In contrast, however, unshared terms show greater lexical instability, are strongly context dependent and sometimes reflect perspectives of conceptualization that are less prototypical of fishing terminology and more related to the expert’s domain of specialization.

Palabras clave : Terminology; subject field; term variation; disciplinary variation; specialized discourse.

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