image of Managing polysemy in terminological resources*
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Polysemy, even when it is considered within specialized domains, is a recurrent phenomenon and the topic is debated from time to time in terminology literature. Part of this literature still advocates ways to prevent polysemy. Another portion recognizes the prevalence of polysemy, especially in specialized corpora, but considers it from the perspective of other phenomena, such as ambiguity, indeterminacy, categorization or variation. Although the number of perspectives on meaning have increased over the years, the treatment of polysemy in terminological resources is still unsatisfactory. This article first shows that polysemy is an integral part of specialized communication and that there are different kinds of domain-specific polysemy. Then, it reviews selected perspectives that have been taken on polysemy in terminology literature. The treatment of 45 polysemous lexical items in four specialized resources is then analysed. Finally, different methods based on lexical semantics are proposed to account for polysemy in terminological resources.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aldestein, A., and M. T. Cabré
    2002 “The Specificity of Units with Specialized Meaning: Polysemy as an Explanatory Factor.” D.E.L.T.A., : –.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Andersen, Ø.
    2007 “Indeterminacy, Context, Economy and Well-formedness in Specialist Communication.” InIndeterminacy in Terminology and LSP, ed. byB. E. Antia, –. Amsterdam/Philadelpha: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.8.04and
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.8.04and [Google Scholar]
  3. Apresjan, J.
    1974 “Regular Polysemy.” Linguistics, (): –. 10.1515/ling.1974.12.142.5
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1974.12.142.5 [Google Scholar]
  4. Barque, L.
    2008Description et formalisation de la polysémique régulière du français, Thèse présentée à l’Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, Paris, France.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Béjoint, H., and P. Thoiron
    2000Le sens en terminologie. Lyon: Presses universitaires de Lyon.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bouveret, M.
    1998 “Approche de la dénomination en langue spécialisée.” Meta(): –. 10.7202/002130ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/002130ar [Google Scholar]
  7. Bowker, L.
    1993 “Multidimensional Classification of Concepts for Terminological Purposes.” In4th ASIS SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop, –. Columbus, Ohio.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. 2022 “Multidimensionality.” InTheoretical Perspectives on Terminology: Explaining Terms, Concepts and Specialized Knowledge, ed. byP. Faber, and M. C. L’Homme, –. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.23.06bow
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.23.06bow [Google Scholar]
  9. Condamines, A., and J. Rebeyrolles
    1996 Point de vue en langue spécialisée. Meta(): –. 10.7202/002359ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/002359ar [Google Scholar]
  10. Cooper, M.
    2005 “A Mathematical Model of Historical Semantics and the Grouping of Word Meanings into Concepts.” Computational Linguistics(): –. 10.1162/0891201054223995
    https://doi.org/10.1162/0891201054223995 [Google Scholar]
  11. Croft, W., and D. A. Cruse
    2004Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511803864
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803864 [Google Scholar]
  12. Cruse, D. A.
    1986Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 1995 “Polysemy and Related Phenomena from a Cognitive Linguistics Viewpoint.” InComputational Lexical Semantics, ed. byP. Saint-Dizier, and E. Viegas, –. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511527227.004
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527227.004 [Google Scholar]
  14. DiCoEnviro. Dictionnaire fondamental de l’environnement
    DiCoEnviro. Dictionnaire fondamental de l’environnement 2020olst.ling.umontreal.ca/cgi-bin/dicoenviro/search_enviro.cgi. Accessed9 November 2021.
  15. Diki-Kidiri, M.
    2022 Cultural Terminology. An Introduction fo Theory and Method, InP. Faber & M. C. L’Homme, Theoretical Perspectives on Terminology: Explaining Terms, Concepts and Specialized Knowledge, –. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.23.09dik
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.23.09dik [Google Scholar]
  16. EcoLexicon
    EcoLexicon. https://ecolexicon.ugr.es/visual/index_en.html. Accessed9 September 2021.
  17. European Union Terminology (IATE)
    European Union Terminology (IATE). https://iate.europa.eu. Accessed7 April 2020.
  18. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Term Portal (https://www.fao.org/faoterm/en/). AccessedMay 15 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Felber, H.
    1987Manuel de terminologie, Unesco: Infoterm.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Fillmore, C. F.
    1982 “Frame Semantics.” InLinguistics in the Morning Calm, ed. byThe Linguistic Society of Korea, –. Seoul: Hanshin.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Framed DicoEnviro
    Framed DicoEnviro. olst.ling.umontreal.ca/dicoenviro/framed/index.php. Accessed18 January 2022.
  22. FrameNet
    FrameNet. https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/. Accessed19 January 2022.
  23. Frassi, P.
    2022 “La représentation de la polysémie et des termes complexes de type locution faible dans une base de données terminologique : travail et son entourage dans le domaine du commerce international.” Terminology(): –. 10.1075/term.21004.fra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/term.21004.fra [Google Scholar]
  24. GEMET
    GEMET. https://www.eionet.europa.eu/gemet/en/themes/. Accessed9 November 2021.
  25. Le grand dictionnaire terminologique
    Le grand dictionnaire terminologique 2020www.granddictionnaire.com/. Accessed20 July 2020.
  26. Hanks, P.
    2013Lexical Analysis. Norms and Exploitations, Cambridge: The MIT Press. 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018579.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262018579.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  27. Hanks, P., and J. Pustejovksy
    2005 “A Pattern Dictionary for Natural Language Processing.” Revue française de linguistique appliquée(): –. 10.3917/rfla.102.82
    https://doi.org/10.3917/rfla.102.82 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kocourek, R.
    1991La langue française de la technique et de la science. Vers une linguistique de la langue savante. Niemeyer: Oscar Brandstetter.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. L’Homme, M. C.
    2020a “Revisiting Polysemy in Terminology.” InProceedings of XIX EURALEX Congress: Lexicography for Inclusion, ed. byGavriilidou, Z., M. Mitsiaki, and A. Fliatouras, Vol.. –. Democritus University of Thrace.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2020bLexical Semantics for Terminology, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.20
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.20 [Google Scholar]
  31. 2021 “Perspectives sur le sens « terminologique » : absorber et absorption dans le domaine de l’environnement.” InLa Théorie Sens-Texte : concepts clés et applications, ed. byMarengo, S.Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. L’Homme, M. C., and A. Polguère
    2008 “Mettre en bons termes les dictionnaires spécialisés et les dictionnaires de langue générale.” InLexicographie et terminologie : histoire de mots. Hommage à Henri Béjoint, ed. byF. Maniez, and P. Dury, –. Lyon: Presses de l’Université de Lyon.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. L’Homme, M. C., B. Robichaud and C. Subirats
    2020 “Building Multilingual Specialized Resources Based on FrameNet: Application to the Field of the Environment.” InInternational FrameNet Workshop 2020. Towards a Global, Multilingual FrameNet. Proceedings, ed. byT. Torrent, C. F. Baker, O. Czulo, K. Ohara, and M. R. L. Petruck. –. Workshop of the Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. León Araúz, P., and A. Reimerink
    2010 “Knowledge Extraction and Multidimensionality in the Environmental Domain.” InProceedings of the Terminology and Knowledge Engineering (TKE) Conference. Dublin: Dublin City University. lexicon.ugr.es/pdf/leonreimerink2010.pdf. Accessed18 February 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Mel’čuk, I., A. Clas, and A. Polguère
    1995Introduction à la lexicologie explicative et combinatoire. Duculot: Louvain-la-Neuve.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
    Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/. Accessed3 March 2020.
  37. Meyer, I., and K. Macintosh
    2000 “When Terms Move into our Everyday Lives: An Overview of De-terminologization.” Terminology(): –. 10.1075/term.6.1.07mey
    https://doi.org/10.1075/term.6.1.07mey [Google Scholar]
  38. Meyer, I., V. Zaluski, and K. Mackintosh
    1997 “Metaphorical Internet Terms: A Conceptual and Structural Analysis. Terminology.” (): pp.–. 10.1075/term.4.1.03mey
    https://doi.org/10.1075/term.4.1.03mey [Google Scholar]
  39. NeoVisual
    NeoVisual 2021 (olst.ling.umontreal.ca/dicoenviro/neovisual/). Accessed9 November 2021.
  40. Office québécois de la langue française
    Office québécois de la langue française 2020À vos vélos. (www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/ressources/bibliotheque/dictionnaires/terminologie_velo/fiches/indexFRA.html). Accessed7 July 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Oxford English Dictionary
    Oxford English Dictionary (https://www.oed.com/). Accessed6 September 2022.
  42. Park, C., and M. Allaby
    2017Oxford Dictionary of the Environment and Conservation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acref/9780191826320.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780191826320.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  43. Ruppenhofer, J., M. Ellsworth, M. Petruck, C. Johnson, C. Baker, and J. Scheffczyk
    2016FrameNet II: Extended Theory and Practice. (https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/index.php?q=the_book). Accessed27 January 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Sager, J. C.
    1990A Practical Course in Terminology Processing. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.44
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.44 [Google Scholar]
  45. San Martín, A.
    2021 “A Flexible Approach to Terminological Definitions: Representing Thematic Variation.” International Journal of Lexicography ( 10.1093/ijl/ecab013/6374470?login=true). Accessed8 November 2021.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecab013/6374470?login=true [Google Scholar]
  46. San Martín, A., and M. C. L’Homme
    2014 “Definition Patterns for Predicative Terms in Specialized Dictionaries.” InLanguage Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Sterner, B.
    2022 Explaining Ambiguity in Scientific Language. Synthese(). 10.1007/s11229‑022‑03792‑x
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-022-03792-x [Google Scholar]
  48. Temmerman, R.
    2000Towards New Ways of Terminology Description. The Sociocognitive Approach, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.3
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.3 [Google Scholar]
  49. Termium Plus®
    Termium Plus® 2022 (https://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2alpha/alpha-fra.html?lang=fra). Accessed19 October 2022.
  50. Van Campenhoudt, M.
    2001 “Pour une approche sémantique du terme et de ses équivalents.” International Journal of Lexicography(): –. 10.1093/ijl/14.3.181
    https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/14.3.181 [Google Scholar]
  51. Verdaguer, I.
    2020 “Semantic Frames and Semantic Networks in the ‘Health Science Corpus.” Estudios de Lingüística del Español Anejo: –. 10.36950/elies.2020..8542
    https://doi.org/10.36950/elies.2020..8542 [Google Scholar]
  52. WordNet. A Lexical Database of English
    WordNet. A Lexical Database of English (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/). Accessed25 November 2021.

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error