The communicative theory of Terminology, a linguistic approach of terms
2009, Vol. XIV-2, pp. 9-15
The theory of terminology has evolved considerably in recent years, responding on the one hand to new challenges in specialised communication and profiting on the other from new trends in general linguistics. The general theory of terminology, which used to be concerned largely with matters of standardisation, has given way to a more open approach, firmly set in the sphere of linguistics which is better equipped to account for the various scenarios used in scientific and technical communication. The communicative theory of terminology is a linguistic approach which studies terms simultaneously as units of language, of cognition and of social function. The article discusses the theoretical basis of this approach, and its suitability for describing terms and its empirical value in accounting for the diversity of the data but without foregoing the possibility of treating terms from other points of view.