AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Sinking about and Working with Maritime Language and Terminology

by Ellick Sutherland

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Maritime English; SMCP; Language for Special Purpose; Terminology; Concept Structure; Term Extraction; Terminology Management System, Standardization
Record ID: 1257362
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/29889


Maritime English (ME), the international working language in the maritime industry, is a Language for Special Purpose (LSP) of which a spoken variant, SMCP, acts as a controlled safety language. Text-based studies of Maritime English, although scarce, point to a concise syntax and grammar, a formal and impersonal style and a preference for nouns and nominal groups. Using the theory of LSP, the thesis finds that depending on content, situation and subdomain, ME can firstly be seen as restrictive language mode; secondly as a deviant language mode; and thirdly as a preferred language mode. More corpus-based descriptive research into the linguistic features of written ME and of the spoken version (SMCP) is advised. As terms typically belong to LSP, the thesis looks into the theory and methodology of terminology. They can be of assistance in setting up a corporate Terminology Management System. The terminological principles of concept structure, precise concept/term definitions and source and context information help create a reliable knowledge database. Focussing on maritime terminology, the thesis concludes with a case study illustrating how a structured approach to maritime terminology processing with the help of a terminology management tool results in a consistent corporate terminology and more reliable information benefitting translation quality. These tools should be freely available, easy to operate and should use standardized database exchange formats. More research is needed on the use of pictures in terminology including their "translatability" and their role in the information exchange.