Compasses, Magnets, Water Microscopes: Annotation of Terminology in a Diachronic Corpus of Scientific Texts

Anne-Kathrin Schumann, Stefan Fischer


Abstract
The specialised lexicon belongs to the most prominent attributes of specialised writing: Terms function as semantically dense encodings of specialised concepts, which, in the absence of terms, would require lengthy explanations and descriptions. In this paper, we argue that terms are the result of diachronic processes on both the semantic and the morpho-syntactic level. Very little is known about these processes. We therefore present a corpus annotation project aiming at revealing how terms are coined and how they evolve to fit their function as semantically and morpho-syntactically dense encodings of specialised knowledge. The scope of this paper is two-fold: Firstly, we outline our methodology for annotating terminology in a diachronic corpus of scientific publications. Moreover, we provide a detailed analysis of our annotation results and suggest methods for improving the accuracy of annotations in a setting as difficult as ours. Secondly, we present results of a pilot study based on the annotated terms. The results suggest that terms in older texts are linguistically relatively simple units that are hard to distinguish from the lexicon of general language. We believe that this supports our hypothesis that terminology undergoes diachronic processes of densification and specialisation.
Anthology ID:
L16-1568
Volume:
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)
Month:
May
Year:
2016
Address:
Portorož, Slovenia
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Note:
Pages:
3578–3585
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/L16-1568
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Anne-Kathrin Schumann and Stefan Fischer. 2016. Compasses, Magnets, Water Microscopes: Annotation of Terminology in a Diachronic Corpus of Scientific Texts. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16), pages 3578–3585, Portorož, Slovenia. European Language Resources Association (ELRA).
Cite (Informal):
Compasses, Magnets, Water Microscopes: Annotation of Terminology in a Diachronic Corpus of Scientific Texts (Schumann & Fischer, LREC 2016)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/L16-1568.pdf