Special-purpose Language in Theory and Practice (Fachsprache in Theorie und Praxis)

Ruhr-Universität Bochum/Englisches Seminar

Wintersemester 2003/04                              Reader                  Exam Results

Course Plan





Introduction: Features of Special-purpose Language (Siepmann)

Introduction to Corpus Linguistics (Siepmann)



Terminology and the Translation of Terminology (Elser)

30.10.2003 (minutes by Dagmar Ring)


Word Formation in English and German (Elser)

06.11.2003 (minutes, Dornies)


Specialist Collocations and Phraseology  [this page takes some time to load, so please be patient] (Sun Lee, student handout)

13.11.2003 (Winter)


Non-specialist Lexis in Academic Text (Vogt)

20.11.2003 (Schäfer)


Making a Glossary / a Term Bank (Presentation of Multiterm and Termium) (Geljohann)



Syntactic Features of Special-purpose Language (Habermann)

04.12.2003 (Maneke)


Textual Conventions and Patterns of Text Development in English Academic Text (Rebel)

11.12.2003 (Denir)


Writing Specialist Texts (Siepmann)

18.12.2003 (Ludwig)


Translating Specialist Texts I (Lepping, Albrecht)

08.01.2003 (Lüttemeier)


Translating Specialist Texts (cntd.)



Translating Specialist Texts II



Specialist Text and Popular Science Text





This seminar is concerned with the specific features of written text types associated with particular academic disciplines or vocational areas such as linguistics, economics and law. Apart from specialist lexis and syntax, it gives due consideration to textual conventions, patterns of text development (general/specific, problem/solution, claim/counter-claim, etc.) and general-language items characteristic of specialist text (e.g. show, consider, evidence, strictly speaking, we report, it is a good guess that, the same goes for). The aim is to enable students to analyse as well as produce special-language texts.

A range of tasks and activities, individual and group-based, are undertaken in class. For a Teilnahmeschein, students are required to give seminar papers or design group activities; for a Leistungsnachweis, students are required to write a dissertation (BE = AE term paper = Seminararbeit, for detailed advice see the Purdue Writing Lab) or to compile a glossary of technical terms and phraseology (glossaries should be corpus-based; an introduction to corpus linguistics is provided during the seminar). Possible subjects for seminar papers and dissertations include:

-              word formation in languages for specific purposes

-              the syntax of English academic text(s)

-              the macro- and microstructure of specialist texts (textual conventions, patterns of text development)

-              non-specialist lexis (procedural vocabulary, lexical phrases) in academic text(s)

-              contrastive analysis of English and German specialist texts from the same subject area

-              specialist text(s) vs. popular-scientific text(s)

-              news media language : a language for specific purposes?

-              the relationship between special language and general language

-              text comprehensibility

Other suggestions are welcome.

The working languages of the seminar are English and German.

Select Bibliography (cf. my website for a constantly updated version; section entitled ‘links’)

1. General Introductions (to Special-Purpose Language and Terminology Processing) and Bibliographies

·              Arntz, R. et. al. Einführung in die Terminologiearbeit. (4. Aufl.) Hildesheim: Olms 2002.

·              Braun, P. Tendenzen in der deutschen Gegenwartssprache. Sprachvarietäten. (Ch. 1.5: Fachsprachen). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1993.

·              Cabré, M. Teresa, Terminology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. (available online: http://shop.ebrary.com/document/display.jsp?docID=5000194)

·              Crystal, D. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. (Ch. 63) Cambridge: CUP 1997.

·              Fluck, H.-R. Fachsprachen. Einführung und Bibliographie. Tübingen 1996.

·              Hoffmann, L. et alii (eds.) Fachsprachen. Languages for Special Purposes. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Fachsprachenforschung und Terminologiewissenschaft. Berlin/New York 1998.

·              Hutchinson, T. and A. Waters English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge: CUP 1987. (focusses on teaching ESP)

·              Kennedy, C. and R. Bolito English for Specific Purposes. London: Macmillan 1984. (focusses on teaching ESP)

·              Roelcke, T. Fachsprachen. Berlin: Erich Schmidt 1999.

·              Sager, J. C. A Practical Course in Terminology Processing. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins 1990.

·              Swales, J.M. Genre analysis. Cambridge: CUP 1990.

2. Academic Journals

·              English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier Science, http://www.elsevier.com/locate/esp)

·              English for Specific Purposes World.

·              Fachsprache/Special Language: International Journal of LSP.

·              Lebende Sprachen (Langenscheidt, www.lebendesprachen.de; publishes articles, glossaries, reviews, „Terminologiedienst“)

·              Meta (recent issues available online: http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/)

·              Terminologie et Traduction. (http://europa.eu.int/comm/translation/bulletins/t&t/index_en.htm) 

·              Terminology: International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Issues in Specialized Communication (John Benjamins; http://www.benjamins.com/jbp/journals/Term_info.html)

·              Terminology Update/L’actualité terminologique. Public Works and Government Services Canada. (http://www.translationbureau.gc.ca/pwgsc_internet/francais/03_tools_f/03_termUp_f.htm)

3. General-language items in specialist text

·              Biber, D. et al. (1999), Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman. (see Chapter 13: ‘Lexical Expressions in Speech and Writing’)

·              Clemen, Gudrun (1998) Hecken in deutschen und englischen Texten der Wirtschaftskommunikation : e. kontrastive Analyse.

·              Kraus, R., Gemeinsprachlicher Wortschatz in technisch-wissenschaftlichen Texten. (Teil 1: Deutsch-Englisch) Heddesheim: Sprache + Technik, 2001. (www.verlag-sprache-und-technik.de; a dictionary of general-language phraseology in academic/scientific text)

·              Howarth, P. Phraseology in English Academic Writing. Tübingen: Niemeyer 1996.

·              Meyer, P. G. (1996) ‘Nicht fachgebundene Lexik in Wissenschaftstexten: Versuch einer Klassifikation und Einschätzung ihrer Funktion’ in: Kalverkämper, H. and Baumann, K.-D. (eds.) (1996), Fachliche Textsorten: Komponenten – Relationen – Strategien. Tübingen: Narr, 175-192.

·              Meyer, P. G. (1997) Coming to know: Essays in the lexical semantics and pragmatics of academic English. Tübingen: Narr.

·              Marco, Maria José Luzón (1999) ‘Procedural Vocabulary: Lexical Signalling of Conceptual Relations in Discourse’ Applied Linguistics 20/1: 1-21.

·              Schröder, Hartmut (1998) ‘Ich sage das einmal ganz ungeschützt’ – Hedging und wissenschaftlicher Diskurs.

·              Siepmann, Dirk, ‘Multi-word discourse markers in translation: a corpus-based investigation into restrictors’ in Lebende Sprachen 3 (2001): 97-107.

4. Languages for Special Purposes: Academic/Scientific Language, Legal Language and Business Language

4.1 Academic/Scientific language

·              Baakes, K., Key issues of syntax in the special languages of science and technology : English-German.  Heidelberg : Groos 1994.

·              Biber, D. et al., Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman 1999.

·              Byrd, P. Looking Ahead: Mastering Academic Writing (4 vls.) Boston: Heinle & Heinle 1998.

·             M.A.K. Halliday and J.R. Martin: Writing Science. Literacy and Discursive Power. London: The Falmer Press, 1993.

·              Huddleston, R.D. The Sentence in Written English: A Syntactic Study Based on an Analysis of Scientific Text Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1971.

·              Hutchinson, T. and A. Waters: English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge: CUP 1987. (focusses on teaching ESP)

·              Kennedy, Chris and Rod Bolito, English for Specific Purposes. London: Macmillan 1984. (focusses on teaching ESP)

·              Mackenzie, J. L. and M. Hannay, Effective writing in English. A resource guide. Groningen: Martinus Nijhoff 1996.

·              University of Birmingham, Centre for English Language Studies, ODL course. http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/CELS/courses/1_0GIS/03gis.pdf (patterns of textual progression)

·              Annotated bibliographies: http://www.mines.edu/Academic/courses/lais/licm598/licm598.html

4.2 The Language of Law

·              Arntz, R. Fachbezogene Mehrsprachigkeit in Recht und Technik. Hildesheim: Olms, 2002.

·              Lee, D.S., C. Hall, and M. Hurley American Legal English: Using Language in Legal Contexts. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press 1999.

·              Doebel, P. Recht durchsichtig : juristische Begriffe im Medienalltag München : TR-Verl.-Union , 1999.

·              Kurzon, D. ‘Themes, hyperthemes and the discourse structure of British Legal Texts’ Text 4(1-3) (1984), 31-55.

·              Kurzon, D. ‘Language of the law and legal language’  in C. Lanren and M. Nordman Special language: from humans thinking to thinking machines Clevedene: Multilingual Matters 1989, 147-162.

·              Russell, F. & Locke, C. English Law and Language: An introduction for students of English. London: Cassell 1992. (a textbook)

·              Sims, Vanessa English Law and Terminology. A Guide for Practitioners and Students Baden-Baden: Nomos 2001. (a textbook)

·              The Law Gateway: http://www.sosig.ac.uk/law/   

·              The language of law: Bibliographies. (http://www.celt.stir.ac.uk/staff/Badger/LAWLANG.HTM; http://www.celt.stir.ac.uk/staff/Badger/LAWLANG.HTM)

·              German Business and Commercial Laws: Guide to Translations into English and Select Auxiliary Sources (http://www.llrx.com/features/german.htm)

4.3 The Language of Business and Economics

·              Bestmann, U. Börsen und Effekten von A - Z : die Fachsprache der klassischen und modernen Finanzmärkte Munich : Beck 1991.

·              Cyffka, A. Linguistische Untersuchungen zur "Fachsprache Wirtschaft" im Englischen Augsburg 1990.

·              Fink, H. Wirtschaftssprache Englisch  : zweisprachiges Übersetzer-Kompendium Munich: Oldenbourg 2001.

·              Gerzymisch-Arbogast, H. Zur Thema-Rhema-Gliederung in amerikanischen Wirtschaftsfachtexten: eine exemplarische Analyse Tübingen: Narr 1987.

·              MacKenzie, I. English for Business Studies. A course for Business Studies and Economics students. Cambridge: CUP 1997. (a textbook)

·              Mascull, B. Key Words in Business London: HarperCollins 1996. (a textbook)

·              Rainer, F. (ed.) Wirtschaftssprache : anglistische, germanistische, romanistische und slavistische Beiträge ; gewidmet Peter Schifko zum 60. Geburtstag Frankfurt am Main et al.: Lang 1998.

5. Specialist Texts Across Languages

·              Adamzik, K. Kontrastive Textologie, Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2001.

·              Baumann, K.-D. and H. Kalverkämper, H. (eds.) Kontrastive Fachsprachenforschung. Tübingen: Narr 1992.

·              Clyne, M. ‘Cultural Differences in the Organization of Academic Texts: English and German’ Journal of Pragmatics 11 (1987): 211-247.

·              Humphrey, R. Grundkurs Fachübersetzen Englisch-Deutsch. (forthcoming)

·              Kovtyk, B. and G. Wendt Aktuelle Probleme der angewandten Übersetzungswissenschaft. Sprachliche und außersprachliche Faktoren der Fachübersetzung. Frankfurt: Lang 2002.

·              Kupsch-Losereit, S. Auswahlbibliographie zum fachsprachlichen Übersetzen Available: http://www.fask.uni-mainz.de/user/kupsch/biblio.html

·              Oldenburg, H. Angewandte Fachtextlinguistik. Conclusions und Zusammenfassungen. Tübingen: Narr 1992.

·              Pöckl, W. ‘Nationalstile in Fachtexten? Vom Tabu- zum Modethema’ in Fachsprache 16/3-4, 1994: 98-106.

·              Stolze, R. Die Fachübersetzung. Eine Einführung. Tübingen: Narr, 1999.

·              Trumpp, E. Fachtextsorten kontrastiv. Englisch-Deutsch-Französisch. Tübingen: Narr 1998.

 6. Corpora, glossaries and term banks

·              Albrecht, J. et al. etb: electronic termbooks for translators. Vol. 1: Umwelt. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. (a CD-ROM containing glossaries and dissertations by students of translation; e.g. Stefanie Herbst: Meteorologie, Sonia Crews: Ökologisches Bauen und Wohnen, Christine Cronjäger: Treibhauseffekt und Klimaänderung)

·              Albrecht, J. ‘Terminologie und Fachsprachen’ Realities of Translating (anglistik und englischunterricht 55/56), 111-162. (includes useful tips on how to compile glossaries)

·              Bergenholtz, H. and J. Pedersen ‘Zusammensetzung von Textkorpora für die Fachlexikographie’ in Schaeder, B. and Bergenholtz, H. (eds.), Fachlexikographie: Fachwissen und seine Repräsentation in Wörterbüchern. Tübingen: Narr, 1994, 161-176.

·              Bowker, L. ‘Towards a Corpus-based Approach to Terminography’ Terminology 3/1: 27-52.

·              Cabré, M. Teresa, Terminology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. (available online: http://shop.ebrary.com/document/display.jsp?docID=5000194); includes an introduction to multilingual and monolingual terminography, p. 129 ff.)

·              Friedbichler, I. u. M. ‘Mit KWIC-WEB ins neue Jahrtausend’ Lebende Sprachen 1 (2001): 6-16. (this article deals with hypertext glossaries)

·              Gerzymisch-Arbogast, H. Termini im Kontext: Verfahren zur Erschließung und Übersetzung der textspezifischen Bedeutung von fachlichen Ausdrücken. Tübingen: Narr, 1996.

·              Pearson, J. Terms in Context. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins 1998. (available online: http://shop.ebrary.com/document/display.jsp?docID=5000162)

·              Pellowe, B. ‘Using the WWW for EFL Research and Resources’ (http://www2.gol.com/users/billp/birmingham1.html#soft)

·              Pellowe, B. ‘Using Concordances from Small Corpora: Video Transcripts and Newspapers’ (http://www2.gol.com/users/billp/conc/biblio.html)

·              Glossar Staatskirchenrecht: http://www.uni-trier.de/~ievr/glossar.htm

·              http://www.geocities.com/glosspost/ (a collection of glossaries)

·              Terminological dissertations: http://www.spr.fh-koeln.de/Personen/Schmitz/kds-dipl.html; online access: http://www.iim.fh-koeln.de/webterm/webtermsamm_d.htm

·              Terminology Forum: http://www.uwasa.fi/comm/termino/more.html

·              Translation-oriented terminography: http://club.cycom.co.uk/tot/totOverview.html

·              Phraseme Analysis and Concept Analysis: http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/cache/papers/cs/14047/http:zSzzSzwww.csi.uottawa.cazSz~ingridzSzeurlex.pdf/meyer94phraseme.pdf

7. Collocations and Phraseology

·              Bahns, J. (1996), Kollokationen als lexikographisches Problem. Eine Analyse allgemeiner und spezieller Lernerwörterbücher des Englischen. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

·              Bahns, J. (1997), Kollokationen und Wortschatzarbeit im Englischunterricht. Tübingen: Narr.

·              Biber, D. et al. (1999), Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman. (on extended collocations or ‘lexical bundles’)

·              Burger, H. (1998), Phraseologie. Eine Einführung am Beispiel des Deutschen. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.

·              Cowie, A. P. (1983), „General Introduction”. In: Cowie, A. P./ Mackin, R./ McCaig, I. R. (Hrsg.): Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English. Volume 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, x- xvii.

·              Hausmann, F. J. (1984), „Wortschatzlernen ist Kollokationslernen. Zum Lehren und Lernen französischer Wortverbindungen.“ Praxis des neusprachlichen Unterrichts 31, 385-406.

·              Hausmann, F. J. (1993), „Ist der deutsche Wortschatz lernbar?“ Info DAF 20, 471-485.

·              Hausmann, F. J. (1999), „Le dictionnaire de collocations - Critères de son organisation“. In: Norbert Greiner, Joachim Kornelius, Giovanni Rovere (Hg.) Texte und Kontexte in Sprachen und Kulturen. Festschrift für Jörn Albrecht. Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag 1999, 121-139.

·              Herbst, T. (1996), „What are collocations? Sandy beaches or false teeth?“ English Studies 77, 379-393.

·              Hunston, S. and G. Francis (2000) Pattern Grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (pp. 230 ff.)

·              Kjellmer, G. (1982), „Some problems relating to the study of collocations in the Brown Corpus“, in: Johansson, S. (Hrsg.), Computer Corpora in English Language Research. Bergen: The Norwegian Computing Centre for the Humanities, 25-33.

·              Leonhardi, A. (1964), „Die natürliche Spracheinheit“, Praxis des neusprachlichen Unterrichts 11, 17-22.

·              Manning, C. and Schütze, H. Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Boston: MIT. (Chapter 5: Collocations; good on statistical methods of language analysis, but there is some terminological confusion) 

·              Nelson, M. (2000) A corpus-based study of business English and business English teaching materials. Unpublished PhD thesis (University of Manchester). (Chapter 4 on collocation)

·              Scherfer, P. (2002), „Lexikalische Kollokationen“, in: Kolboom, I. / Kotschi, T. / Reichel, E. (Hrsg.), Handbuch Französisch. Studium – Lehre – Praxis, Berlin: Erich Schmidt.

·              Siepmann, D. (2003) Eigenschaften und Formen lexikalischer Kollokationen: Wider ein zu enges Verständnis Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur 1 (forthcoming)

·              Siepmann, D. (2003), „Collocations in Trilingual Perspective: New Evidence from Large Corpora and Implications for Dictionary Making”, in: Cahiers de Lexicologie 82, 1-24. (forthcoming)

·              Sinclair, J. M. (1991), Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

·              Tribble, C. (2000). Genres, keywords, teaching: towards a pedagogic account of the language of project proposals. In L. Burnard & T. McEnery (Eds.), Rethinking language pedagogy from a corpus perspective (pp. 75-90). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

·              http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Christopher_Tribble/Genre.htm.

·              Workshop on Computational Approaches to Collocation (University of Vienna, August 2002)