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Semantic characterization of terms as a trace of terminological dependency

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Over the past decades, English has become the predominant language for the transfer of specialized knowledge, which conditions the creation of new lexical units in other codes. This conditioning can result in terminological dependency, a linguistic phenomenon arising from a unidirectional transfer of specialized denominations between two languages. Terminological neology in potentially dependent codes such as Spanish reflects the way the importation of units from English involves a set of linguistic asymmetries that affects the conceptual configuration of specialized domains by the importing community of scientists. In this article, we propose a three-step analysis in order to detect and measure the terminological dependency of Spanish on English in the domain of Alzheimer’s Disease, based on the semantic characterization of a set of specialized neologisms related to this domain. After analysing the semantic features of these units in English, we found a significant, though not exact, correlation between the uniformity of certain semantic aspects and the degree of terminological dependency observed in their equivalents in Spanish.
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Keywords: neology; semantics; terminological dependency; terminology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2014

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