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Theories On Term Extraction Project Essay

960 words - 4 pages

Terminologies are becoming increasing important nowadays, especially for domain-specific language. In order to minimise the communication barriers, either in linguistic or cultural level, it is important to agree upon how concepts should be related to each other in a specialised area and which terms should be used to represent which concepts.

This essay provides theoretical foundation for the term extraction project about aviation biofuel.

1. Creation of Conceptual Outline
When professional terminologists start work on a completely new glossary, they start by deciding on the domain and working language for the glossary (Bowker and Pearson, 2002). In creating a conceptual outline, classification of a domain is a prerequisite for organising important concepts and sematic relations among them. In this task, the domain that was chosen is aviation biofuel. Given the fact that the domain chosen is relatively large, the terminologist further identified four subdomains within that domain and used these as starting points, which are first-generation biofuel, second-generation biofuel, third-generation biofuel and fourth-generation biofuel.

According to Bowker and Hawkins (2006), the concepts that make up specialized fields of knowledge are designated by lexical items known as terms. Therefore it is important for terminologist to read through and understand the documentation and to underline term candidates, so that he can analyze the relations among those individual terms which are, in most cases, designators of concepts. Foo’s statement (2012) helps to make the relation of concept and term more clearly. As he describes, “concept is language independent. However, to facilitate communication and terminological discussion, the term is often used in real communicative situations. Term and concepts are equivalent, as per definition, but they are not the same.”

Once all term candidates have been retrieved, the terminologist will then continue to work on the system of concepts (Bowker and Hawkins, 2006). In this task, the terminologist analysed the intension of identified concept that the term designate and formulated the delimiting and essential characteristics of that concept, so that he can differentiate it from other concepts. Since a concept’s essential and delimiting characteristics are determined by the domain the concept belongs to, in the field of aviation biofuel, ethanol, for instance, refers to an alcohol-based alternative fuel (essential characteristic) rather than a psychoactive drug. What’s more, the delimiting characteristic of the concept ethanol is a type of biofuel produced from starch crops, which delineates it from the concept cellulosic ethanol. The latter is a type of biofuel produced from a great diversity of biomass including waste from urban, agricultural and forestry sources. It can be concluded that domain and the intensional definition of a concept are the reasons why the terminologist has included certain concepts but not...

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