Hiztegi Tekniko-Berezituak. UZEIren Hiztegigintza
Paulo Agirrebaltzategi


This article explains what is so specific about the contents, format and elaboration of UZEI dictionaries compared with other Basque dictionaries.

In order to do this, the author gives a general classification of the dictionaries. As regards their contents, the dictionaries may be general or specialized; encyclopaedic (thematic); linguistic (which explain the grammatical, syntagmatic and paradigmatic aspects of the vocabulary) and terminological ones (which record the technical vocabulary of certain subjects). The format and internal organization may be onomasiologic (set out according to the word meaning, centred round key words) or semasiologic (set out according to the meaning, normally in alphabetical order). They may also be monolingual, bilingual or multilingual.

The (UZEI dictionaries normally comprise two parts; the first encyclopaedic and the second terminological. They are not linguistic, and are not only terminologically descriptive in that the sense that they gather together existing terminology; they are also creative, creating terminology; but they do not pretend to be normative, they are proposals —the validity of which will be decided by every day usage.

To do this, the elaboration of the dictionaries is based on the analysis of technical words. However the dictionaries proposed by UMI are not only based on the already registered technical words, but also on a global vision of the dictionary as a whole, and all other technical words. An interdisciplinary vision which will avoid confusion in technical language. Therefore, it has been necessary to coordinate the work of the specialists with that of the linguists.

Beginning with an analysis of already existing Basque texts on each subject, the dictionaries try to fill in gaps using the capacity of the Basque Language itself to create new terms, without leaving out the assimilation of terms from other Languages, also bearing in mind that technical terminology is the area where a common international vocabulary in mainly to be found.

It should be considered however, that the vocabulary on has a meaning in a given context, in this case a technical one; and as it happens this is not too common in Basque. UZEI also try to cover this deficiency at least initially in the encyclopaedic part of their dictionaries.

The writer finishes by analyzing other partial and problematic aspects of UZEI's lexicographical pieces of work, of which the one dedicated to the social follow up of the dictionaries may be remarked upon. The writer also proposes that new structures which allow for the continuity of the work (revision and development of the dictionaries) should be created. A follow-up of the usage of these dictionaries should also be undertaken and the teaching of these scientific and technical terms should also be planned for those who will supposedly have to use them in the future.