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Tentativeness in term formation: a study of neology as a rhetorical device in scientific papers

Abstract : The study on term formation presented in this paper is related to the problem of determining the function of neologisms in scientific communication and to the issue of processing the concomitant variation, typical of such new denominations. Our analysis of scientific texts shows that neologisms can have quite a different role in scientific communication than they are generally credited with in terminological studies. The well-known referential role, consisting of the creation of a new designation for naming a new concept is overshadowed in scientific texts by a more rhetorical role. Here the scientist resorts consciously to variation, hence creating a “neology effect”, specifically for the reason of emphasising various novel aspects of his thought. This function of neology as a rhetorical device is generally glossed over in terminology studies, in much the same way as the analysis of variation used to be, due to the expected stability that neologism should eventually gain in line with well-established terms. Consequently, in this article, we try to place the phenomenon of neology within the framework of discourse analysis.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 23, 2015 - 8:33:57 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01232655, version 1


Mojca Pecman. Tentativeness in term formation: a study of neology as a rhetorical device in scientific papers. Terminology. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Issues in Specialized Communication , John Benjamins Publishing, 2012, Neology in Specialized Communication. Special issue, 18 (1), pp.27-58. ⟨hal-01232655⟩



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