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Conflicting Tendencies in the Development of Technical Language: Metaphorisation vs. Compression of Information

By Larisa Iļinska and Tatjana Smirnova


Technical language (LSP) is the most rapidly developing variety of language. It follows the same path as the development of general language, i.e. there is a tendency for internationalization of vocabulary, borrowing of non-equivalent lexis, extension of meaning of existing lexical units and compounding. However, the processes of change in technical language are more dynamic, and the process of meaning extension is always one step ahead as compared to general language. Technical language is field specific, and the needs of each particular discipline determine the prevailing trends in terminology coinage and development. Contemporary term formation patterns do not always meet the traditional requirements put forward by conventional terminology schools. Newly created technical terms are often polysemic, metaphoric, and context dependent. Therefore, context and meaning are central notions in modern terminology science, including term formation, terminology standardisation and terminology management. Relations between meaning and context as an interactive process that promotes cognition and communication, both intralingual and interlingual, are the focus of attention of the present article. The article also studies two evident conflicting tendencies in the development of technical language: metaphorisation and compression of information. Metaphoric meaning extension is characteristic of scientific technical vocabulary in all discourse domains as this process is inherent in human cognitive activity. At the same time, contemporary development of corpus linguistics facilitates compression of information at different levels, including formalisation of specialised vocabulary

Topics: technical language, metaphorisation, compression of information, terminology
Publisher: Lodz University Press
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