On Concepts, Conceptual Systems and Terminology of Onomastics
O pojęciach, systemach pojęciowych i terminologii onomastycznej
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On Concepts, Conceptual Systems and Terminology of OnomasticsThe main aim of this paper is to propose a terminological approach to the standardization of onomastic terminology. Attention is paid to the primary importance of conceptual systems and to the onomasiological approach typical of terminological work. Terminology is presented as a discipline devoted primarily to the study of concepts. Then the main concepts of terminology are discussed and the relations between a conceptual system and a terminological system are explained. An outline of the issue of conceptual systems of onomastics and of their internal structure is made. Then two important metatheoretical concepts are introduced and defined: 1) the concept of theoretical legitimacy of concepts and 2) the concept of economy of conceptual systems. In the final part of the article, several suggestions concerning the standardization of onomastic terminology are made: 1) terms referring to concepts belonging to separate conceptual series are not to be used interchangeably; 2) terms based on different roots (in the English onomastic terminology: -onym, -onymy, -onomastics, in the Polish terminology: -onim, -onimia, -onomastyka) are to be reserved respectively for the concept of a single (type of) proper name, for the concept of a set of proper names and for the concept of a specific onomastic discipline; 3) concepts used or newly introduced in a text are to be defined clearly in onomastic works, 4) onomasticians aiming for standardization of onomastic terminology should start their work by (re)constructing conceptual system(s) of onomastics and only then assign terms to concepts; 5) one completely unitary conceptual (and terminological) system of onomastics cannot be achieved due to the theoretical pluralism of the discipline; 6) the first goal of any conceptual and terminological standardization of onomastics is to define its range: should the standardization cover the concepts of philological or general onomastics? should it cover only empirical (descriptive) concepts or highly abstract theoretical concepts as well?
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