La representación de la variación contextual mediante definiciones terminológicas flexibles

by   Antonio San Martín, et al.

In this doctoral thesis, we apply premises of cognitive linguistics to terminological definitions and present a proposal called the flexible terminological definition. This consists of a set of definitions of the same concept made up of a general definition (in this case, one encompassing the entire environmental domain) along with additional definitions describing the concept from the perspective of the subdomains in which it is relevant. Since context is a determining factor in the construction of the meaning of lexical units (including terms), we assume that terminological definitions can, and should, reflect the effects of context, even though definitions have traditionally been treated as the expression of meaning void of any contextual effect. The main objective of this thesis is to analyze the effects of contextual variation on specialized environmental concepts with a view to their representation in terminological definitions. Specifically, we focused on contextual variation based on thematic restrictions. To accomplish the objectives of this doctoral thesis, we conducted an empirical study consisting of the analysis of a set of contextually variable concepts and the creation of a flexible definition for two of them. As a result of the first part of our empirical study, we divided our notion of domain-dependent contextual variation into three different phenomena: modulation, perspectivization and subconceptualization. These phenomena are additive in that all concepts experience modulation, some concepts also undergo perspectivization, and finally, a small number of concepts are additionally subjected to subconceptualization. In the second part, we applied these notions to terminological definitions and we presented we presented guidelines on how to build flexible definitions, from the extraction of knowledge to the actual writing of the definition.


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