Review of The Dynamics of Terminology 


Review: 
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 21:26:54 +0100 From: Andrea Faulstich <a.faulstich@businesstranslations.net> Subject: The Dynamics of Terminology. A Descriptive Theory of Term Formation and Terminological Growth
Kageura, Kyo (2002): The Dynamics of Terminology. A Descriptive Theory of Term Formation and Terminological Growth. John Benjamins Publishing Company, viii+322pp, hardback ISBN 1588113140 (NA) 9027223289 (ROW), $83, Terminology and Lexicography Research and Practice 5.
Andrea Faulstich, unaffiliated scholar
PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE BOOK The purpose of the monograph is to offer a theory of terminology and terminology growth on the basis of a specific corpus of Japanese terminology. The study aims at identifying conceptual regularities in term creation and to lay the foundations for the analysis of terminological growth patterns and for similar research in the field of terminology.
The book is divided into four parts. In part I, the author explains the theoretical implications of the study, in parts II and III the theoretical framework for the study of term formation patterns and the dynamics of terminology is developed on the basis of the Japanese documentation terminology. Part IV provides an evaluation of the results and an outlook on further research to be carried out.
Part I: Theoretical Background In chapter 1, Kageura discusses and defines some basic notions such as "term", "terminology" and "concept". With regard to "term", defined as "a lexical unit consisting of one or more than one word which represents a concept inside a domain" (p. 9), and the status of terms within language, emphasis is put on the distinction between "terms" and "words" and on the localization of terms in the realm of PAROLE ("the realization of language, as opposed to LANGUE, the system of language", p. 11). "Terminology", defined as "the vocabulary of a subject field" (p. 9), is regarded as a representation of the systematized knowledge of a given domain (p. 15). The author reviews "traditional" approaches to terminology (the "Vienna" school of terminology, Wüster, 1959/60) and describes recent trends in the study of terminology (among others the works of Cabré, 1995, 2000 and Temmermann 1997, 2000). It is criticized that the traditional theory of terminology as well as the recent studies borrow their theoretical framework from studies of concepts that do not specifically consider the status of concepts within the theory of terminology. What is crucial according to the author is the theoretical framework of terminology into which "concept" is incorporated, not the kind of "concept" theory used in term description (p. 24).
In chapter 2, the theoretical and methodological framework for the study of the dynamics of terminology is elaborated. The author points out that the focus of the study is on the system of terminology, i.e., on term formation and terminological growth within a given domain, whereas the use of terms in discourse and phenomena such as meaning shifts and metaphorical uses of terms are excluded. Basically, it is assumed that there are systematic factors within a given terminology that "determine the formation of new terms and the growth of terminology" (p. 34). The methodology adopted by Kageura is "structural" in two ways: 1) in a mathematical or algebraic sense of the word, as mental patterns (combinations of concepts) are mapped to linguistic patterns (terms), 2) in the sense of structural semantics (Greimas, 1966, Lyons, 1977, 1995), as a componential method of analysis is adopted (p. 39), with the restriction, however, that the entire conceptual structure represented by a terminology (not individual items or semantic fields) is studied and terminology is located in the realm of PAROLE (p. 40).
Part II Conceptual Patterns of Term Formation In chapter 3, the descriptive framework for conceptual patterns of term formation is developed. The author discusses the notions of "concept", "intraterm relations" and "conceptual specification patterns" and assumes that term formation is a "specification of concepts within a conceptual class" (p. 59), i.e., a specification of a nucleus (head) by a determiner (modifier), where the role the determinant adopts with regard to the nucleus defines the intraterm relation. According to these assumptions and to the overall claim of offering a theoretical framework of term formation that is applicable to different domains and/or languages, also term creation by metaphorical transformation and similar phenomena is deemed to be reducible to compounding mechanisms and thus explainable by the comprehensive structure of terminology (p. 46).
The main objective of part II is the investigation of the relations between conceptual specification patterns and conceptual categories. Chapter 4 and chapter 5 provide the analytical framework of such an investigation and thus prepare the analysis to be carried out in chapter 6. Chapter 4 introduces conceptual categories for the description of formation patterns of documentation terms. The author identifies four broad conceptual categories (ENTITY, ACTIVITY, QUALITY, RELATION) that are relevant to the study of the Japanese documentation terminology and attributes various subcategories to each broad category (p. 6580), elaborating thus a hierarchically structured conceptual system to which the terms and morphemes extracted from the data of documentation terms (in Japanese with English translations behind in brackets) are allocated. Such allocations of morphemes and terms to the conceptual system lay the foundations for "the description of conceptuallymotivated combinations in term formation" (p. 80). As the author points out in this connection, it is not intended to provide detailed explications of concepts represented by terms or morphemes, but only a structural framework within which patterns of term formation can be described. As a result of the allocation process, quantitative tendencies for broad categories and subcategories are provided (p. 8189). In chapter 5, intraterm relations and conceptual specification patterns for documentation terms are identified. The elaboration of intraterm relations is initially based on the relations proposed by Pugh (1984) and then refined by applying them to various samples (p. 98). These intraterm relationships are then restructured, reinterpreted and grouped together as different types of conceptual specification patterns (p. 106110). Conceptual categories, intraterm relations and conceptual specification patterns are formalized by a system of abbreviations.
Chapter 6 describes and evaluates conceptual patterns of the formation of documentation terms. Each conceptual category is characterized by the frequency of terms allocated to it (with a differentiation between simple, twoitem and threeitem terms), by the conceptual patterns of these terms (nucleus term, determinant, intraterm relation) and by the dominant specification patterns (p. 117151). From a crosscategorical viewpoint, different conceptual categories are grouped together by their common specification patterns. So it is highlighted, e.g., that the categories of PEOPLE, ORGANIZATIONS, MACHINES and SOFTWARE, having the common feature of "being active", are prevalently specified by functions (p. 152). The findings so far obtained are summarized and interpreted with regard to the further objective of analyzing the dynamics and growth of terminology. Following the assumption formulated in chapter 2 according to which the formation of new terms is determined by systematic factors within a given terminology, the author assumes that on the basis of term formation patterns evidenced in this chapter for the documentation terminology, predictions can be made with regard to formation patterns of new terms in the given domain (p. 161).
Part III Quantitative Patterns of Terminological Growth Chapter 7 delineates aspects of terminological growth patterns which can be studied by means of a quantitative analysis, and describes a mathematical model (binominal interpolation and extrapolation) by which predictions on growth patterns of a given terminology can be generated.
Chapter 8, complementary to chapter 4, studies the dynamics of morphemes by broad conceptual categories and by subcategories. Applying the mathematical model of binominal interpolation and extrapolation to the morpheme distribution within different broad categories and subcategories, the author gains growth curves of morphemes as a function of term growth, i.e., the growth of morphemes within a broad conceptual category or subcategory can be predicted on the basis of the growth of terms in that category.
In Chapter 9, complementary to chapter 6, the author explores growth patterns of different elements of term formation (nuclei, determinants, determinant categories and specification patterns) in several conceptual categories. Each section dedicated to a conceptual category provides tables showing the basic quantities of nuclei, determinants, determinant categories and specification patterns for the terms of that given category. Furthermore, panels display developmental curves of the number of types (of nuclei, determinants, etc.), the growth rate and the relative number of types (of these four elements), with each curve plotted as a function of the number of terms in a given conceptual category.
Part IV Conclusions Chapter 10 summarizes what has been examined in the study, evaluates the theoretical framework and the methodological implications of the approach and shows directions for further research in the field of terminology which can be incorporated into the basic framework.
EVALUATION Undoubtedly, Kageura's study is an important step towards a theory of terminology and the dynamics of terminology. It offers an interesting novel framework for the study of terminology which can be extended and applied to other domains and/or languages. The book is well written, coherent in its theoretical conception and fascinating by its predictive power. The clear structure of the text is underpinned by a readerfriendly layout, summaries, tables and diagrams. What makes reading complicated at times is, of course, the high degree of formalization. As a whole, however, the study should be accessible to a relatively wide range of audiences. Following the objective of offering a theoretical framework for the study of an entire terminology that goes beyond the mere description of terms, the author is certainly compelled to simplify and to remain somewhat generic. Thus, one might object that, e.g., discourse aspects of terminology or diachronic perspectives are excluded. The overall merit of the book, however, resides exactly in the fact that it provides a framework capable of integrating such aspects and that it fosters the status of terminology as an independent field of research.
REFERENCES Cabré, M.T. (1995): "On diversity and terminology", Terminology 2(1), p. 116.
Cabré, M.T. (2000): "Elements for a theory of terminology: towards an alternative paradigm", Terminology 6(1), p. 3557.
Greimas, A. J. (1966): Semantique Structurale: Recherche de Méthode. Paris: Larousse.
Lyons, J. (1977): Semantics. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lyons, J. (1995): Linguistic Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pugh, J. M. (1984): A Contrastive Conceptual Analysis and Classification of Complex Noun Terms in English, French and Spanish with Special Reference to the Field of Data Processing. PhD Thesis, University of Manchester.
Temmermann, R. (1997): Terminology beyond Standardisation. Language and Categorisation in the Life Sciences. PhD Thesis, University of Leuven.
Temmermann, R. (2000): Towards New Ways of Terminology Description: The Sociocognitive Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Wüster, E. (1959/60): "Das Worten der Welt, schaubildlich und terminologisch dargestellt", Sprachforum 3 (3), p. 183204.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Andrea Faulstich, economist, translator, received her PhD in Romance Linguistics from the University of Potsdam in 2001 and is currently working as a financial and legal translator. Her main areas of research/interest are: translation theory, the special language of finance and law, semantic theory (cognitive semantics, Natural Semantic Metalanguage) and the semantic description of technical terms used in nonspecialist contexts. 




