Variable Scope for Popularization of Specialized Terminology: The Case of Medico-Pharmaceutical Terms

Aage Hill-Madsen, Morten Pilegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Taking issue with the assumption that specialized terms represent an esoteric and unnecessary ‘code’ that may unproblematically be replaced by core-vocabulary items or circumlocutions, this article explores whether popularization is equally possible within different subcategories of a specific field of LSP terminology, viz. medico-pharmaceutical terms. In a corpus of two derivationally related text types (a specialized pharmaceutical genre and its lay-oriented counterpart), we identified four relevant subcategories of terms and charted the actual popularization strategies employed within each category. Having observed systematic differences in the way specialized terms are reformulated in the four terminological subcategories, we argue that the popularization strategies identified diverge not only in kind but also in degree. The empirical results lead us to assume that the actual divergences observed can be taken as a clear indication
that some of the terminological categories represent a markedly higher popularization potential than others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFachsprache: International Journal of Specialized Communication
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • popularization potential
  • degrees of popularization
  • medico-pharmaceutical terms
  • subcategories of terms
  • strategies
  • reformulation
  • Subcategories of terms
  • Definition
  • Popularization potential
  • Medico-pharmaceutical terminology
  • Degrees of popularization
  • Reformulation
  • Strategies


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