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Theories of terminology: Their description, prescription and explanation

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During the past decade, the theory of terminology has been a subject of debate in various circles. This article examines some of the reasons why this topic has been receiving so much interest lately. I will first discuss the theory developed by Wüster and analyse the motivations behind his model. Then, I will explain why the Wüsterian theory was not questioned or challenged for a long time. This will lead us to the reasons why so many critical voices have been raised recently, both from inside traditional viewpoints and outside. I will also look at the reception these new ideas have had in terminology circles. Finally, I will present my own definition of a theory of terminology, by examining important issues such a theory should take into account and see what I can offer to this debate.
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Keywords: Communicative Theory of Terminology; General Theory of Terminology; history of terminology; theory of terminology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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