Principles of Language Documentation and Terminology

Teachers: Vyzas Theodoros
Code: SOT121
Category: Skills Development
Type: Elective
Level: Postgraduate
Language: Greek
Delivery Method: Lectures
Semester: 1st
ECTS: 10
Teaching Units: 10
Teaching Hours: 3
Short Description:

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the theory of terminology in direct connection with the need for language documentation and the correct use of lexicographic aids during the translation and interpretative process. The ultimate objective is to help students acquire the necessary terminographic skills so as to be able to develop documentation tools either in the context of primary terminology research or in the course of preparation of specialised glossaries used in translation and interpreting.

Objectives - Learning Results:

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Recognize the applied character of both language documentation and terminography and master their objectives, methodology, key concepts and applications.
  • Distinguish between the concepts of terminology and lexicography and understand their complementary nature.
  • Recognise all types of printed, electronic and online lexicographic and terminographic tools and be at ease with their use.
  • Carry out research to evaluate the relevance and reliability of information sources with regard to translation needs.
  • Master the way of extracting vocabulary from texts and corpora.
  • Identify meanings, definitions and other textual elements useful in the preparation of language documentation aids.
  • Acquire, develop and use thematic and domain-specific knowledge relevant to translation needs (mastering systems of concepts, methods of reasoning, presentation standards, terminology and phraseology, specialised sources etc.).
  • Develop language documentation aids with clear morphological information, definitions, examples, collocations, synonyms and antonyms, and manage polysemy in an effective way.
  • Recognise the importance and value of translation and language data, demonstrating data literacy.
  • Know basic concepts of social labelling and information sharing.
  • Analyse and justify their translation solutions and choices, using the appropriate metalanguage and applying appropriate theoretical approaches in order to guarantee translation quality.
  • Collaborate with a team on developing language documentation aids and other lexicographic material.
  • Effectively use their own and other language documentation tools.

Week 1: Definition and basic principles of language documentation, lexicography and terminography. Historical overview with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Distinction between lexicography and lexicology and between terminography and terminology. Relationship of lexicography and terminography with computer science and other sciences.

Week 2: Specialised communication and LSPs. Translation competence. Translation for professional purposes, and interpreting.

Week 3: Overview of terminology theories. Term typology in Greek and English. Term equivalence in translation.

Week 4: Historical overview with emphasis on the dictionaries of 19th and 20th centuries. Diglossia and the role of catharevoussa (purist Greek). 

Week 5: Typology of lexicographic tools (monolingual, bilingual, multilingual, printed and electronic, general and specialised, historical, dialectic, reverse dictionaries, terminology databases, thesauri, ontologies), their structures, characteristics and cultural particularities. Issues of synchrony and diachrony.

Week 6: Cultural particularities of language documentation tools. Issues of synchrony and diachrony.

Week 7: The purpose of creating lexicographic tools on a case-by-case basis, identification of target users, introductory texts, organisation of macrostructure and microstructure.

Week 8: Parallel and comparable corpora. Eur-lex database as corpus. Concordancers.

Week 9: Search for and evaluation of printed and electronic texts for vocabulary mining. The web as corpus. Wikipedia as corpus. 

Week 10: Recognizing and distinguishing general from specialised vocabulary, term candidates, neologisms, loans. Extraction of vocabulary and terminology, search for and identification of definitions in texts. Management of polysemy, synonymy and homonymy.

Week 11: Quality, evaluation and revision of specialised translations.

Week 12: Social bookmarking tools. Repositories and collaborative translation.

Week 13: Development and evaluation of language documentation tools.

Recommended Bibliography:

Atkins, B. T. S. & Rundell, M. (2008). The Oxford guide to practical lexicography. New York: Oxford University Press.

Atkins, B.T.S. (ed.) (1998). Using Dictionaries: Studying of dictionary use by language learners and translator. Lexicographica Series Maior 88, Tübingen: M. Niemeyer.

Barton, D. & Lee, C. (2013). Language online: Investigating digital texts and practices. New York: Routledge.

Béjoint, H. (2000). Modern lexicography: An introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Béjoint, H. & Thoiron, Ph. (dir.) (1996). Les dictionnaires bilingues. Louvain-la-Neuve : Aupelf-Uref-Duculot. Διαθέσιμο στο

Bergenholtz, H. & Tarp, S. (Eds) (1995). Manual of Specialised Lexicography. Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins.

Δογορίτη, Ε. & Βυζάς, Θ. (2015). Ειδικές γλώσσες και μετάφραση για επαγγελματικούς σκοπούς. Αξιοποίηση ψηφιακών εργαλείων και γλωσσικών πόρων στη διδασκαλία της γλώσσας ειδικότητας και της εξειδικευμένης μετάφρασης. Αθήνα: Διόνικος.

Fontenelle, Th. (ed.) (2008). Practical lexicography: A reader. New York: Oxford University Press.

Frawley, W., Hill, K. C. & Munro, P. (Εds.) (2002). Making dictionaries: Preserving indigenous languages of the Americas. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Fuertes-Olivera P. A. (Ed) (2010). Specialised Dictionaries for Learners. Lexicographica. Series Maior 136. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Fuertes-Olivera, P. A. & Arribas-Baño, A. (2008). Pedagogical Specialised Lexicography. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Giannakis, K. G., Charalambakis, C., Montanari, F., Rengakos, A. (Eds) (2019). Studies in Greek Lexicography. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter.

Gouws, R., Heid, U., Schweickard, W. & Wiegand, E. (Eds.) (2013). Dictionaries. An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography. Supplementary volume: Recent Developments with focus on Electronic and Computational Lexicography. Berlin / Boston: Walter de Gruyter.

Hartmann, R. R. K. (2001). Teaching and researching lexicography. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Hausmann, F. J. et al. (Eds.) (1989-1991). Wörterbücher – Dictionaries –Dictionnaires. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Lexikographie. An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography. Encyclopédie internationale de lexicographie. Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Jackson, H. (2002). Lexicography: an introduction. London: Routledge.

Κατσογιάννου, Μ & Ευθυμίου, Ε. (επιμ.) (2004). Ελληνική ορολογία: Έρευνα και εφαρμογές. Αθήνα: Καστανιώτης.

L’Homme, M.-C. & Vandaele, S. (dir.) (2007). Lexicographie et terminologie : compatibilité des modèles et des méthodes. Ottawa: Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa.

Mitkov, R. (ed.) (2003) The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Piotrowski, T. (1994). Problems in Bilingual Lexicography. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

Sablayrolles, J.-F. (dir.) (2008). Néologie et terminologie dans les dictionnaires. Paris : Honoré Champion.

Sablayrolles, J.-F. (dir.) (2003). L’innovation lexicale. Paris : Honoré Champion.

Sterkenburg, Piet van (ed.) (2003). A practical guide to lexicography. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Svensén, B. (2009). A Handbook of Lexicography. The Theory and Practice of Dictionary-making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Szende, Th. (dir.) (2000). Approches contrastives en lexicographie bilingue. Paris : H. Champion.

Tallarico, G., Humbley, J. & Jacquet-Pfau C. (dir.) (2020). Nouveaux horizons pour la néologie en français. Hommage à Jean-François Sablayrolles. Limoges : Lambert-Lucas.

Tiedemann J. (2009). News from OPUS A Collection of Multilingual Parallel Corpora with Tools and Interfaces. In N. Nicolov and K. Bontcheva and G. Angelova and R. Mitkov (eds.) Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (vol V), pp. 237-248, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Zanettin, F. (2012). Translation-driven corpora. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing.

Λεξικά και Θησαυροί

Εθνικός Θησαυρός της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας (ΕΘΕΓ), Ινστιτούτο Επεξεργασίας του Λόγου. Διαθέσιμο στο

British National Corpus:

Eur-lex :

Eurovoc :

Iate – European Union Terminology :

Merriam-Webster :

Oxford dictionaries:

­Trésor de la langue française informatisé :

Συναφή επιστημονικά περιοδικά

Πρακτικά συνεδρίων euralex :

International Journal of Lexicography:

Language Learning & Technology:

Lexikos :

Lexis, Journal in English Lexicology:


Teaching and Learning Methods:


Lectures: use of multimedia (power point presentations).

ICT Usage:

Support of the learning process through the Open eClass platform.

Course material upload (notes, lecture slides, exercises, etc.) onto the Open eClass platform.

Grading and Evaluation Methods:

I. Final written exam (60%) including:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Short-answer questions
  • Problem solving

ΙΙ. Presentation of Group/Individual Project (40%)



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