Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-9971
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9994
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This paper evaluates the possibilities of recognizing term candidates through their formal and semantic characteristics. From a cognitive-linguistic stance, the semantic motivation of the word-formation patterns of collocations and compounds in domain-specific texts is assumed to promote their termhood. The semantic motivation to integrate into a multi-word unit is assumed to originate in the generally agreed on generic reference of the modifying constituent. This hypothesis is investigated empirically in a corpus-linguistic experiment. Term candidates instantiating different derivational patterns of adjective–noun constructions have been manually sorted by experts into approved and non-approved terms. Our subsequent linguistic categorization into the morpho-semantic constructions instantiated by the term candidates could be verified quantitatively in terms of relative frequencies. These frequencies clearly divide the term candidates into instances of term-promoting and term-impeding constructions. Obviously, the experts have approved the terms of those constructions which come up with a high relative frequency in the corpus.


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