Autores UPV
Revista Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada/Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics


An important issue with regard to terms in linguistics is the detection of term variation, which may be defined as the use of alternative names used for the same concept, i.e. synonymy. Its causes include the different practices for the designation of terms employed by language users. For example, the use of alternative words in specific terminology among experts is commonplace, but this practice is not common among general users of language, who prefer to stick to popular terms. The differences may lead to the designation of a concept by means of different terms, a phenomenon known as term variation. As a result, a general user may utilize a term which is different from the one used in the technical corpus. In this paper, we aim to identify the types of term variation that can be found when contrasting specific texts in English and the way in which we can recognize some of the types of variation from a pragmatic perspective, i.e. depending on language use and the purpose of the user. First, we examine the types of variation which commonly occur in corpora compiled from specific texts, explaining the document pre-processing and the methodology followed. In the results and discussion section, we describe the method carried out to extract synonyms and the results are contrasted. Finally we conclude that, from a pragmatic perspective, the specificity of communicative acts plays a vital role in term variation.