Terminology is both a science, « science studying the structure, formation, development, usage and management of terminologies in various subject fields » [ISO 1087-1] and the result of its application to a domain: « set of designations belonging to one special language » [ISO 1087-1].
Nowadays, there is a risk of Terminology being absorbed as an independent discipline to the advantage of specialised lexicography or of knowledge engineering; the former reducing it to a study of linguistic phenomena and the latter, to an issue of computational knowledge representation. Nevertheless, Terminology as a scientific discipline is crucial if we consider that its primary aim is to understand the world, describe the objects that populate it and find the right words to talk about them. Although terminology aims to clarify communication between humans and not to provide computational models [ISO 704], we are forced to recognise that it is not entirely satisfactory from the perspective of both Logic (by providing consistent definitions), computation (through a conceptual system representation) and even from epistemological principles (the essential characteristic is no a more principle in the last version of the IS0 704 standard). If Terminology is to continue to exist as an independent scientific discipline, it needs to re-examine its Terminology Principles.
My main goal, as Project leader of the ISO 1087-1 and 704 Standards and as Chairman of the of the AFNOR Commission on Terminology (X03A), is to lead the current revisions of these standards towards more consistent versions taking into account the last results of related disciplines (Linguistics, Computer Science, Knowledge Representation, Logic) and the benefits of the Digital Revolution.
My current research on Terminology is about specifying a new Concept Theory of Terminology (C.T.T.) relying on consistent principles from an epistemological and logical point of view.

ISO 1087-1 2000. Terminology work – Vocabulary – Part 1: Theory and application. Geneva: International Standards Organization.
ISO 704 2009. Terminology work – Principles and methods. Geneva: International Standards Organization.
Should Terminology Principles be re-examined?
C.Roche. TKE 2012, 10th Terminology and Knowledge Engineering Conference , Madrid (Spain), 19-22 June 2012, pp.17-32.

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