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The status of the terminological unit “ART” in the modern English terminological system of Art History

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2020. Vol. 9. No. 4. Pp. 264-272.
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Gapienko P. E.
Pushkin Leningrad State University
10 Peterburgskoe Highway, 196605 Pushkin, St. Petersburg, Russia


Despite the wide use of the term art not only within the Art criticism terminology, but also in the general literary language, this lexical unit is mentioned less and less in modern specialized dictionaries. This observation points to the problem of the controversy of the terminological status of art. The relevance of this study is related to the revision of the lexeme art as a key concept of the term system of Art History and the core of the Art History terminology. In this work, for the first time, art is analyzed for its terminological status. Since art is one of the most functional lexical units of Art History, the change in its status is a reflection of the specificity of the development of the Art History terminological system, which enables us to put forward the following hypothesis: the absence of a clearly formulated definition of the term calls into question its scientific status, which can lead to desemantization of the term, and, as a result, to its determinologization. In the present study, such linguistic methods are used as the definitive analysis, as well as elements of sema-seological and morphological analysis. The material for the study comprised both explanatory dictionaries of the English language and specialized terminological dictionaries related to Art History. As a result of this study the reasons according to which art has lost its terminological status are identified. The main reason can be referred to the lack of definition. Determinologization of the term does not mean its final withdrawal from the terminological system. On the contrary, the analysis of the lexical unit art as well as its functioning made it possible to conclude that the term can be categorized as terminoid and term element. The results obtained can be useful for compiling a modern dictionary of Art History terms in the English language. The issues under study will be of interest to specialists in the humanities, in particular, linguists dealing with terminology.


  • • art
  • • art
  • • terminology
  • • term
  • • art terminology
  • • definition
  • • determinologization


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