Language of specialization

  • Camille Roger ABOLOU (Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire)
    Juridical discourse in sub-Saharan Africa. Terminology and translation in legal matters
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 17-31

    Initially, work on translation concentrated on exploiting the capacity of African languages to express modernity. Later research in translation in sub-Saharan Africa has concentrated on legal ethnography, working on ontological systems, legal texts within which a multiplicity of sources of law are intermingled, in particular customary law, civil law and common law. These justice systems are superimposed and intertwined, giving rise to a legal disorder. The post-colonial African countries have the major challenge, apart from the one-way communication which characterises them, with what can be called interjuridicity, a zone of interference where jurisigns (borrowings and legal calques) appear. The concept of interjuridicity sheds light on the problems of legal translation in sub-Saharan Africa which can be solved by applying various heuristic approaches.

  • Nathalie BARGOT (Lyon 2)
    Specialized language and thesaurus building
    1998, Vol. III-2, pp. 71-97

    The study presented here touches on documentation and terminology, these domains being very often linked together in the context of industry. Building up a thesaurus is considered from a linguistic viewpoint through various corpus studies and on both a formal and a semantic level. In this article will be treated successively the acceptation of terms in the terminological corpus specific for the gas industry, the constitution of domains on the basis of this list and by interviews of specialists for each of these domains.

  • Henning BERGENHOLTZ (Aarhus, Danemark)
    Faster and more reliable retrieval of data in specialized printed and digital dictionaries and lexicons
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 81-97

    In the information age we have more accessible data than ever before. At the same time there is undoubtedly a greater information need than ever before. We can distinguish between at least three types of information needs: communicative, cognitive and operational. Dictionaries will normally focus on one or more communicative functions, encyclopaedias normally on cognitive functions, user guides and manuals focus on operational functions. To perform such functions, we need reference books containing the necessary data. This is a main topic both in metalexicography and in terminography. Far less observations have been made to the no less important question: How and especially how quick can the user get access to the data ?

  • Peter BLUMENTHAL (Cologne, Allemagne)
    Humanities vs Science: how to use words in scientific vulgarization
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 15-28

    Our contribution compares the lexical characteristics and combinatorial properties of nouns in two kinds of entries from the Encyclopædia Universalis (2005). We split the Encyclopædia into two big subcorpora, one for texts dealing with the humanities, the other for texts representing the natural sciences. We compared these subcorpora in terms of lexical overlaps, lexically distinctive features and combinatorial properties of certain nouns. On the basis our tools to determine the combinatory profile of words and to compute degrees of similarity between them, profound lexical and semantic differences between both “academic cultures” emerged.

  • Françoise BOCH (Grenoble 3)
    As expected...: markers of convergence/divergence in linguistic articles
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 109-122

    This article presents the qualitative analysis of a corpus of published linguistics articles. Two types of lexical markers were studied: those signaling convergence (e.g. conformément à nos attentes) or signaling divergence (e.g. contre toute attente), in relation to the expectations of the writer-researcher or of the larger scientific community. The objective of this study is to examine to what extent these markers reveal the way the writer-researcher constructs and validates knowledge in their article. The corpus analysis found several functions for these markers, thus highlighting a wide variety of possible expectations. As a result, we argue that such an analysis must not only see these markers as linked to other terms but must also to take into account their relation to the entire text. Therefore, markers of convergence and divergence may not necessarily be the locus of an implied scientific reasoning. However, they potentially express various epistemological styles.

  • Danielle CANDEL (CNRS)
    Aspects of the noun group in scientific definitions
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 17-28

    Two groups of terms have been gathered. The first one comes from a specialized text corpus, in which the terms are defined by the authors themselves. The second one comes from within the framework of institutional terminology (official terminology and neology committees), where terms have been selected by specialists themselves. Those two groups of terms therefore are repesentative of the specialties in question. Morphological characteristics of specialized terms have been emphasized; the variability of their discursive usages has also been highlighted.

  • Agnès CELLE (Paris-Diderot)
    Interrogative sentences in French and their counterparts in English academic discourse
    2009, Vol. XIV-1, pp. 39-52

    The aim of this article is to contrast interrogative sentences in French with their English counterparts in academic discourse, using a sample of translated examples. Questions are highly frequent in French, but not in English. In French, questions involve the addressee as a fictitious anchor-point without taking his / her point of view into account. In English, interrogative sentences appear either in embedded position or as supplements. Enunciative location may only be achieved by the main clause. In this way, modal – as opposed to intersubjective – distancing is created in English.

  • Averil COXHEAD (Massey, Nouvelle-Zélande)
    A pilot science-specific word list
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 65-78

    The coverage of the General Service List (GSL) (West, 1953) and Academic Word List (AWL) (Coxhead, 2000) over a science-based written academic English corpus of approximately 875,000 words is 80%, compared with three corpora of the same size from arts (86.7%), commerce (88.8%), and law (88.5%) (Coxhead, 1998). The AWL coverage of 9.1% over science is similar to arts and law, the coverage of the GSL over science is 65%, 10% lower than the coverage over law, 8% less than arts, and 6% less than commerce. One way to address this gap in coverage is conduct a corpus-based study of the vocabulary in academic science texts to establish whether there is a science-specific vocabulary consisting of words outside the GSL and AWL. Hirsh (2004) found that academic subject areas with the highest proportion of technical vocabulary make use of the lowest proportion of general service vocabulary. This pilot study found 318 such word families with coverage of approximately 4% over a science-specific corpus of 1.5 million running words, in contrast to its coverage of well under 1% of the arts, commerce, and law corpora mentioned above, and a 3,500,000 word corpus of fiction.

  • Jean-Pierre DESCLÉS (Paris 4)
    Information retrieval from corpora of technical texts
    1997, Vol. II-2, pp. 19-33

    Technical texts present interesting and so far poorly researched linguistic characteristics. In this article, a research project is described, carried out by a multidisciplinary group of linguists and computer scientists, which aims at devising and realising prototypes of computer programmes for extracting information from technical texts. This research, as is illustrated by concrete examples, has led to computer programmes that have the form either of networks between concepts or of phrases taken from the analysed texts, and that are, if necessary, accompanied by automatically assigned semantic information.

  • Mathieu DEVINAT (Sherbrooke, Canada)
    Bijuridism and bilingualism in Canada: ideals under tension
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 33-50

    Since its creation in 1867, Canada is founded on a political compromise between two founding nations that gave an equal status to distinct legal traditions both expressed in two official languages. In order to fulfill these ideals, however, Canadian jurists must assimilate two legal cultures and languages, an expertise far from reach for everyday citizens, and probably even from a majority of jurists themselves! This paper aims to present in a critical manner the legal discourse surrounding the implementation of bilingualism and bijuridism in Canadian law. In our opinion, the Canadian example highlights the methodological and terminological challenges related to the recognition of two languages and legal traditions within the same legal order.

  • Patrick DROUIN (Montréal, Canada)
    Automated identification of a transdisciplinary scientific lexicon
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 45-64

    In this paper, we propose a first step leading to the description of the lexicon of scientific language by identifying a transdisciplinary scientific lexicon (TSL). The TSL is domain independent and forms a central lexical core of all domains; it is at the center of argumentation we find in scientific discourse as well as its structuring. In order to gather the transdisciplinary lexicon, we use natural language processing (NLP) tools and statistical techniques; central to our method is the calcul des spécificités (specificity measure) put forward by Lafon (1980). By using NLP tools, we want to verify if it is possible to quickly and simply complement existing lexical resources without much manual intervention. We conclude our study by exploring an observation made by Phal (1971) about collocations and scientific discourse. We focus here on V-N collocations revolving around nouns taken from our TSL.

  • Philippe GRÉCIANO (Grenoble)
    Translation and its problems in the trials of the Red Khmers
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 119-126
  • Philippe GRÉCIANO (Grenoble)
    The war on terrorism and its demands on the legal system
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 63-76

    Since September 11 2001 the world has been faced with challenges to the defence of nations and the security of their citizens, leading to hitherto unused laws, policies and strategies to counter the terrorist threat. This is a major challenge: to reconcile security needs with the demands of law, and respecting citizens' liberty, their language, their culture and their legitimate aspirations. In this paper, antiterrorist discourse will first be studied, its terms and definitions examined, as well as the types of texts used and the way they are formulated in language. Then the cross-disciplinary approach is used to produce practical methods to ascertain the state of terrorist threat in its international dimension, to achieve a fine grained but global understanding of the phenomenon for the future.

  • Mathieu GUIDÈRE (Toulouse 2)
    Multilingual humanitarian mediation in conflict management
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 51-62

    In the framework of humanitarian mediation, multilingual communication has a strong cultural component. This article begins by situating the Other in a global fashion, and then goes on to view ways in which a balance of perception can be established between those involved by working out a precise, rigorous diagnosis to shed light on the conceptions, feelings and intentions of all concerned, illustrated by several examples. Amongst the tools used, mention should be made of distancing, decentring, intercultural competence and Natural Semantic Metalanguage.

  • Alain GUILLAUME (Université Quisqueya, Haïti)
    How law is expressed in creole or how to diminish the juridical differences in Haiti
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 77-91

    Haitian society is characterized by a number of dichotomies which are manifested in law in the form of an unequal bilingualism and a particular form of bijuralism. The legal integration of the Nation implies that the law be expressed in creole and that customary standards should be taken into account in written law. These measures would enrich substantive law in Haiti, though complex to implement.

  • Jean-Claude GÉMAR (Montréal, Canada)
    "Jurilinguistics" and its sources: the juridical text, languages and cultures
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 9-16
  • Laurent HEURLEY (Amiens)
    Comprehending and using procedural texts: the order of presentation of information
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 29-46

    Many psycholinguistic and ergonomic studies on procedural texts have, directly or indirectly, addressed the question of the effect of information order on user's processing. Results obtained in these studies gave rise to three general conclusions : (1) the way procedural texts are read, understood and their instructions followed depends on information order ; (2) initial mention of the main information (i. e. superordinate information) in texts, information blocks and sentences facilitates the processing of the text ; (3) the order of information effect depends on multiple factors such as : users' strategies, users' prior knowledge, referent and situation structures.

  • Hendrik J. KOCKAERT (Lessius)
    A tool for managing terminology in juridical translation activities in Belgium; How it works and what it can do
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 93-104

    The Department of Applied Language Studies of Lessius and the Research unit of quantitative and variational linguistics of the K.U. Leuven have been invited by the translation department of the Ministry of Justice to develop a Terminology Management System (TMS) of legal phraseology and terminology allowing translators to work with correct, coherent and expert-revised phraseologies and terminologies in the three national languages. This paper firstly investigates how terminology management has been carried out in the translation departments of the federal public services of justice in Belgium. Based on this survey, this paper proposes a TMS tool which is based on a new concept of phraseological terminology. To reach this goal, an extraction method of phraseological terminology based on some usage-based models of language will serve as a basis of a customised experimental analysis method which will allow us to design a road map capable of developing terminology, specifically engineered for the legal translation LSP.

  • Patrick LEROYER (Aarhus, Danemark)
    In terms of wine: lexicographisation of an on-line tourist guide for wine-lovers
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 99-116

    Online tourist guides are information tools communicating destination image and specialised knowledge at the same time. They feature a large variety of lexicographic structures including word lists, articles, conceptual schemes, indexes and registers, search options on keywords, internal and external cross references etc. This is by no means surprising in so far as what is needed is effective data access in order to extract information – precisely in the same way as in lexicography. The functional thesis we defend in this article is that lexicographisation in a user perspective can improve the access process. Taking œnotouristic online guides as a case in point, we will examine different user situations leading to consultation, in particular the need for experiential information, in which users simply wish to improve the conditions of their œnotouristic experience. We will then formulate theoretical proposals aimed at ensuring better interaction of lexicographic functions, data presentation and access possibilities.

  • Susanne LERVAD (Termplus ApS, Danemark)
    Research in terminology and practical applications: ways of co-operation with partners in the Danish industry
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 73-80

    The linguist services company Termplus ApS specialises in developing term and knowledge bases for Danish businesses. One important aspect of this activity concerns managing issues of synonymy in a multilingual industrial context. As is generally recognised, synonyms tend to develop unchecked in various aspects of a company’s activities and documentation, leading to inconsistencies and misunderstandings, which may in worst case scenarios lead to financial losses due to faulty interpretations of decisions or safety procedures. In order to provide a practical answer to this challenge and to help firms to manage their language resources optimally, Termplus ApS turns to current research in LSP as well as accepted terminology practice. The result is clear, systematic professional communication.

  • François MANIEZ (Lyon 2)
    Denominal adjectives in specialised language: the case of the medical domain
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 117-130

    Relational adjectives are a key component of specialized language in French as well as many other languages. The use of relational adjectives as a substitute for a prepositional phrase follows the principle of economy in language, but it is also a characteristic of specialized discourse: French physicians will use expressions like “cancer mammaire” or “infarctus myocardique” where the layman uses “cancer du sein” or “infarctus du myocarde”. After studying morphological, syntactic and semantic aspects of relational adjectives, we attempt to identify some of the factors that seem to induce the use of relational adjectives instead of prepositional phrase complements, based on examples drawn from an eight-million-word corpus of medical research articles; variation in the use of the adjectives coronaire and coronarien is also studied.

  • Sylvie NORMAND (CNRS-Rouen)
    Analysis of the adjectives of a medical corpus by means of automatic language processing
    2000, Vol. V-2, pp. 151-160

    Divergent descriptions of histopathologic images induce inter- and intra-observer variability in diagnosis based on the observation of breast tumours images. The lack of reproducibility in identifying specific morphological features is partly due to varying levels of expertise among pathologists and to differences in subjective analysis and comprehension of pathological images. As linguists and developers of Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems, we started a collaboration with the Medical Informatics Department at the Broussais Hospital in order to explore a new way for corpus-based medical glossary acquisition. We focused our analysis on adjectives because they are the main linguistic category involved in the evaluation process. The first results of this study show the relevance of a corpus-based approach to cope with the "subjective" interpretations given by pathologists when they analyse microscopic images.

  • Mojca PECMAN (Paris-VII)
    Onomasiological approach of general scientific language
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 79-96

    This study aims at developing a method for investigating the invariants across different scientific discourses. The paper illustrates a model analysis for processing general scientific vocabulary by applying three complementary approaches: cross-disciplinary, onomasiological and phraseological. The combination of these approaches allows us to bypass traditional methods generally based on a lexical analysis of a single domain. We first define the borderline between the specialised scientific language features and those features that are common to various scientific discourses, then we present a corpus-based study of a combinatorial profile of lexical resources used for formulating general scientific ideas. This method thus provides a framework for the modelling of general scientific language resources.

  • Gérard PETIT (Paris 10)
    In search of the identity of technical terms
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 63-79

    The notions of term and lexical unity (LU) are marked by the theoretical paradigm (t : terminological; l linguistic) in which they are conceptualized, the latter being itself defined inside its own discipline (Terminology or Linguistics). Contrary to an idea commonly held about Terminology and terminology in Linguistics - seen as a set of terms - considered as stabilisation and classification structures for concepts, the identity of term is extremely unstable. It is dependent on the conceptualization of LU made by each discipline. Relatively to the classic theory of terms (T,t), to its reconsideration (T,l) or to its appropriation by Linguistics (L,l), the notion of term is a construct which results from more or less controlled theoretical transfers, shifts or confusions.

  • Morten PILEGAARD (Aarhus, Danemark)
    Collaborative repositories: An organisational and technological response to current challenges in specialised knowledge communication?
    2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 57-71

    This paper presents concepts and systems for multilingual terminological and textual knowledge codification, representation, validation, management and sharing structured around the notion of genre. These systems operationalize the different stages of the ‘virtuous knowledge cycle’ within a dynamic, multilingual specialized web-dictionary and a multilingual, genre-based corpus of medical texts genre hierarchies or systems. The knowledge cycle approach mirrors ‘real life’ working processes and allows for repeated conversions of knowledge between its tacit and explicit forms, allowing knowledge to codify and spiral up from the individual to the collective level at corporate, ‘community of practice’. The paper reports on the results of the implementation of these concepts and systems in general and the web-dictionary in particular within the Danish health care, pharmaceutical, medical device and translation sectors which technologically have been fused into one collective ‘knowledge cluster’ and it discusses the opportunities for research and business that spring from fusion of language and health technologies.

  • Céline POUDAT (ENST)
    Lexical representation and categorization of science in Wikipedia
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 29-44

    The free and online encyclopaedia project Wikipedia has become in less than six years one of the most prominent commons-based peer-production example. The way the project works and evolves is now at stake for academics eager to explore auto-organized structures. Although many studies have been led on the connections between contributors, the linguistic properties of Wikipedia productions remain almost unexplored. In this article, we focus on the way sciences are represented within the project and examine the general and epistemic lexical characteristics of the articles thanks to the comparison of a set of corpora extracted from Wikipedia’s category system.

  • Caroline SCHAETZEN (DE) (Bruxelles, Belgique)
    The vocabulary of generic products in commercial distribution networks
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 103-113

    The food and non-food terms from big stores deserve a thorough analysis: in today's self-service shopping, labels mentioning these denominations sell the products, together with the brand of the concern making them; second, this increasingly international terminology is currently coined or corrected with marketing and publicity specialists; last but not least, these terms include a series of vulgarized scientific ones which help understand vulgarization mechanisms.

  • Dirk SIEPMANN (Osnabrück, Allemagne)
    Markers of polylexical discourse in scientific French
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 123-136

    Unlike two-word collocations, multi-word discourse markers have until recently suffered comparative neglect in lexicology and lexicography. The present article aims to remedy this deficiency for French. After giving an operational definition of the lexical items in question, the author proceeds to classify them by functional criteria. He concludes his article with a detailed survey of suggestors. The great frequency of this type of marker would seem to belie the assumption that academic language is free of subjectivity.

  • Agnès SÁNDOR (Xerox Research Centre Europe, Meylan)
    Modeling metadiscourse conveying the author's rhetorical strategy in biomedical research abstracts
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 97-108

    The importance of the role of metadiscourse is increasingly recognized for natural language processing applications like text-mining and information extraction. Thus the detection of metadiscourse has recently been identified as a task in several domains, including the processing of scientific literature. We have developed a natural language processing system that detects and highlights in biomedical research abstracts a particular kind of metadiscourse that conveys the author’s rhetorical strategy. In this paper we describe the model of rhetorical metadiscourse underlying the system. Our model, combining and extending previous discourse analysis methods and models, is based on both conceptual and syntactic analyses of metadiscourse. We argue that this model is effective for automatic processing.

  • Simon TAYLOR (Paris-Diderot)
    The European Union and National Legal Languages: an Awkward Partnership?
    2011, Vol. XVI-1, pp. 105-118

    The harmonisation of the laws of Member States in various areas of private law constitutes an important element of the European Union integration process. The principal legislative mechanism used to achieve this harmonisation is the directive. Effective harmonisation of national laws can only be achieved if the Community legislation is applied in the same way in the different national legal systems. Many of the challenges in ensuring a harmonised application of community legislation are connected to issues of legal language. Amongst other examples, this paper will use the European directive on product liability (la responsabilité du fait des produits défectueux) as an illustration of the various language issues raised and the solutions available to ensure an effective level of harmonisation. This will be done through a study of the English and French versions of the directive, and by considering the experience of the implementation of the provisions of the directive in French and English law.

  • Agnès TUTIN (Grenoble 3)
    Lexicon and phraseology of scientific texts
    2007, Vol. XII-2, pp. 5-14
  • Sunniva WHITTAKER (Bergen, Norvège)
    Commercial correspondence: learning discursive strategies in a foreign language
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 95-102

    This article focusses on the acquisition of discourse strategies by foreign students learning French. The study is based on a corpus of business letters written by Norwegian students. Our aim is to demonstrate how many of the mistakes that occur in this particular genre are due to the fact that even advanced students tend to misinterpret discourse contexts and as a consequence, fail to choose the correct discours strategy. Whereas grammatical mistakes will be considered by the addressee as being due to a poor command of the language and therefore easily forgiven, a bad choice of discourse strategy will often be interpreted as a manifestation of impoliteness or servility.

    Automatic processing of medical terminology
    2001, Vol. VI-2, pp. 47-62

    Specialized texts are characterized by a specific terminology. Medicine holds a particular position in this respect, both because of the impressive number of terms involved and of the amount of international effort devoted to build normalized terminologies. These terminologies play a key role in medical information and knowledge processing. A large part of the work performed on medical language processing is therefore centered on these terminologies, either as information targets or as knowledge sources. We present here, through examples drawn from our own work, various aspects of medical terminology processing.