Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC
START-UP grant

From terms to metaphors: On determinologization in media discourse
Project IdSGS10/FF/2022
Main solverprof. PhDr. Lenka Vaňková, Dr.
Period1/2022 - 12/2022
ProviderSpecifický VŠ výzkum
AnotationThe project follows other SGS projects conducted at the Department of German Studies in previous years, which focused on the use of professional vocabulary in non-professional contexts, namely mass-media discourse, and studied the ways specialized terminology was presented to general public and the means of securing its comprehensibility to the non-expert reader. The present project then aims to analyse and describe changes taking place in the use of specialized lexis outside professional discourse. Terms are no longer used only by field experts, but they are increasingly penetrating the discourses of both everyday communication and the media. This weakens their connection to the original field-specific concepts and contributes to the development of new, figurative meanings of the words. This determinologization process is also related to the occurrence of field-specific terms in new contexts, where their meaning is unrelated to that the words originally had in the given domain of expert knowledge. In the press, they can be used in texts dealing with other fields, or even serve as metaphors for clarifying new facts. The latter has an emotional function, which, however, can only be fulfilled provided that the original meaning of the technical term is clear to the reader. The goal of the research is to show the extent to which this phenomenon is present in German media discourse and what demands it places on its recipients. It will also contribute to an understanding of a specific function of technical vocabulary, which has so far remained at the periphery of linguistic research interest.