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The cognitive dimension Sager, J-C (1990) A Practical Course in Terminology Processing, Amsterdam/Philadelphia Benjamin. notes.

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Presentation on theme: "The cognitive dimension Sager, J-C (1990) A Practical Course in Terminology Processing, Amsterdam/Philadelphia Benjamin. notes."— Presentation transcript:

1 The cognitive dimension Sager, J-C (1990) A Practical Course in Terminology Processing, Amsterdam/Philadelphia Benjamin. notes

2 Three dimensions of terminology Cognitive: form to conceptual content (referents) Linguistic: representions of concept in language (actual or potential) Communicative: use of terminology, compiling terminologies –Cf Cabré’s theory of doors

3 Theory, concepts, definitions Theory of reference: set of principles for classifying language items –by the properties of the concepts they represent –Necessary to systematize all relevant concepts before standardizing [or consigning to a database]

4 Models of knowledge Multidimensional spaces –Componential analysis –Semantic field theory –Lexical taxonomy

5 Subject disciplines Knowledge is conventionally divided into subject areas –Overlap –Relative configuration changes According to subspace –FeCl 3 [electronics] for printed circuit boards –FeCl 3 [textile technology] mordant

6 Theory of concepts Aims –Explanation for cognitive motivation in term formation –Basis for structuring vocabularies/terminologies Three tasks –Account for sets of concepts as entities of knowledge structure –Account for interrelated linguistic entities associated with concepts grouped according to cognitive principles –Establish a link between concepts and terms definitions

7 concept Provisional definition ‘Constructs of human cognition processes which assist in the classification of objects by way of systematic or arbitrary abstraction.’ Several standard definitions concept left as a primitive cf. word, sentence…

8 characteristics Essential characteristics –Sufficient and necessary characteristics for identifying a concept Non essential characteristics –extra, non-defining information –but these may become essential for creation of concepts table (horizontal, flat surface, raised above ground…) coffee table (more characteristics needed)

9 Attributes of concepts Broad concepts –Few characteristics Liquid, animal, vehicle Narrow concepts –Many characteristics hovercraft… Intension of concept –Sum of characteristics Extension of concept –Range of objects a concept refers to characteristic = properties of a concept -> relations to other concepts

10 Methods for structuring concepts Attributed to a class –Venus (class of planets) Grouped into categories by distinctive features –Animals having four legs (quadrupeds) tamed for human use (domestic) Differetiated by discrimination between categories –Tables, chairs, cupboards (furniture) Interaction of categories at level of function Input – storage – retrieval

11 Typology of concepts Entities –Derived by abstraction from material or abstract objects Activities –Processes, operations performed with, on.. entities Qualities –Properties, dispositions, with which we differentiate between entities Relations –between the above three categories

12 entities entity Material entityAbstract entity Representational entity Software entity Neutral entity

13 Structure of concepts Classification is most satisfactory for small, well- established subjects/subject areas Serious problem for term banks No consensual method for how to group concepts in a system Terminology relates terms to concepts (and not vice-versa) –Not concerned with absolute concept systems –Only with systems designed to facilitate communication

14 relationships Generic –X is a type of A –X,Y, Z are types of A –A has the specific concepts X, Y and Z –A has the subtype X Newletter, Journal, Magazine…. Not reversable

15 Example of generic relationship publication periodic publicationnon periodic publication news mag journal book monograph letter…

16 facets The criteria for identifying subordinate concepts may vary. roller bearings are classified by type of rolling bodies –roller bearings, ball bearings… by number of rows of rolling bodies along axis of bearing –single-row anti-friction bearings, double row anti-friction bearings, multi-row anti-friction bearings by type of forces –radical anti-friction bearings; radical axe antifriction bearings… [multidimensionality]

17 Partitive relationships X is a constituent part of Y X,Y and Z are constituent parts of A A consists of X A consists of X, Y, and Z. A wheel is composed of a hub, spokes and a rim = the concepts hub, spokes, rim constitute the parts of the concept wheel.

18 Subtypes of partitive relationships Parts are atomic constituents of the whole –Units of a scale, characters of a character set Parts are a finite numbered set –52 cards of a deck Whole consists of groups of numbered and unnumbered parts –Individual values of a deck of cards Part is an optional constituent –Car radio in a car Part is a constituent and sometimes the whole –Page feed (form feed) [Form feed is a page-breaking ASCII control character. It forces the printer to eject the current page and to continue printing at the top of another. ]ASCIIcontrol characterprinterpage Part are alternative –Ribbon feed has either a ribbon spool or a ribbon roll

19 Complex relationships Cause – effect –Explosion – fallout Material – product –Steel - girder Material – property –Glass - brittle Material – state –Iron - corrosion Process – product –Weaving - cloth Process – instrument –Incision - scalpel Phenomenom – meaurement –Light - Watt Object – counteragent –Poison - antidote Object – container –Tool – tool box

20 Divisions using different facets By parts –Inking systems Duct adjusting screw, duct blade, ink drum… By process –Printing Intaglio printing, planographic printing, porous printing… By method –Intaglio printing Photogravure, steel-engraving By function –Aircraft Passenger aircraft, freight aircraft, military aircraft…

21 Subject classification Bottom up –Builds on individual concepts Top down –Divides knowledge into subsets Documentary classification systems –Universal Decimal Classification –Dewey Decimal Classification Complementary nature of classification systems and terminology work According to area covered – more suitable for concrete areas

22 Limits to classification in terminology Subject classification can provide a broad outline structure for terminology collection. Classifications are a useful starting point, but beyond this they need to be supplemented by a more complex set of relations Sager 1990 : 39

23 definitions Definitions provide link between concepts and terms –equation, term = definiendum –identification of the concept only with reference to its conceptual system classifies the concept within that system difference between this necessary and sufficient definition in terminology and other definitions (language, encyclopaedic…)

24 Stiplulative definitions Terminological definition –Accepted specialised meaning Established through documentation Stipulative definitions –Redisignation in discourse Cf. legal documents

25 Types of definition Analysis (genus & differentia) –Pneumonia : inflammation of the lung tissue Synonyms –Daisy : bellis perennis Paraphrase –Whiteness : state of being white Synthesis –Metatarsalgia : painful neuralgic condition of the foot,felt in the ball of the foot and oftern spreading thence up the leg Implication –Diagnosis: we make a diagnosis when we identify certain symptoms as characteristics of specific conditions Denotation –Dog : dogs are spaniels, poodles, pekinese, alsatian and similar animals Demonstration –Drawings, photographs…

26 Purposes of definitions Initial fixation of term-concept equation Identification of a term via verification of the existence of an independent definition Explanation of the meaning of a concept for specialist users such as translators, subject specialists…

27 Functional type of definition Placing term in its position in the knowledge structure –Understanding of intension from knowledge of other related terms Fixing specialised meaning –Specialists determining precise reference of a term Sufficiently flexible to account for varying Sufficiently rigid for taxonomies Giving the non-specialist some degree of understanding –Other than terminological definitions given


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