Vol I of International Conceptual Encyclopedia for the Social Sciences. 1985.
[NOTE: A hypertext version of this glossary has been prepared by Matti Malkia, University of Tampere -- for details see INTERCOCTA The author is indebted to Johann Stockinger for his advice and help, especially in the scanning and reproduction of this material from the 1985 printed text. Related information can be found on his home page . Because this introduction was prepared more than ten years ago, it has been outdated in significant respects. For a more recent explanation of onomantic principles jump to "TAN".]
[NOTE: The Preface explains the background of the ETHNICITY GLOSSARY. For information about the INTERCOCTA ("onomantic") methodology used here, you may jump right away to the introductory WHY AND HOW explanation.
This book illustrates The INTERCOCTA Process format of subject-field glossaries to be included in the planned "INTERCOCTA" conceptual encyclopedia for the social sciences. The encyclopedia will also have a series of "text" volumes containing essays, reports and other materials in addition to the "glossary" volumes. The first such collection has already been published, consisting of the papers and data presented at the Conference on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis in the Social Sciences, held in Bielefeld, FRG, during May 1981. The Proceedings of this "CONTA Conference" been published by Indeks Verlag, Frankfurt, and may be purchased directly, or in combination with this volume.
The most important recommendation made in Bielefeld concerned the need for a truly international conceptual encyclopedia that would facilitate the recognition and introduction of new concepts and terms growing out of contemporary social science research, especially in the countries of the Third World. The basic purposes and uses of the glossary volumes are explained in the "Introduction" that follows this "Preface." They differ from the design of conventional dictionaries, glossaries and encyclopedias because of their dynamic and developmental function. They do, of course, contain information on concepts and terms that have already become established -- as do ordinary dictionaries -- but they go beyond this function by facilitating the continuous growth and revision of key concepts needed for research in a given subject field, and by linking this information to the literature and the theories or propositions evolving in that field. Accordingly each volume in the INTERCOCTA encyclopedia can be used and marketed separately. In combination with the other volumes, however it will eventually provide an over-view of knowledge and research in many interlinked social science fields.
To accomplish these ambitious goals, two basic features of the glossary volumes need to be understood: (1) the data base used to produce the book has to be computerized and subject to daily expansion and revision, to on-line use, and to utilization in up dated print-outs that can be made readily available in hard copy; and (2) the material has to be organized by a classification scheme (taxonomy) that permits users to find out, with minimal effort, whether or not any given (unnamed) concept has already been introduced in the literature of the field. Clearly alphabetical glossaries can only be searched by entry words, and hence they cannot easily be used to determine whether or not a given concept is new (or not yet in the glossary). Moreover in order for the promise of innovative information to be realized, it is essential that the computerized data base be continuously maintained by an editor who will take responsibility for adding new material and making the results available on demand.
The historical background reflects a continuing effort by the Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (COCTA) of the International Social Science Council to analyze and solve conceptual and terminological problems in the social sciences. Starting from a "semasiological" (word-to-meanings) orientation, the committee investigated the multiple uses of a few key word, as demonstrated in Giovanni Sartori [ed] Social Science Concepts: A Systematic Analysis (Beverly Hills: SAGE, 1984). On the basis of the UNESCO-sponsored INTERCONCEPT project, a decision was made to supplement this traditional approach with a new paradigm that is "onomasiological" (concept- to-terms) in structure. It takes up the definition of a concept first. without thinking about the terms used to designate it. Afterward, as a second step, it asks what words or expressions can most conveniently and unambiguously signify the defined concept. To support the definition and terms, each record should also contain one or more citations to a relevant document.
The starting point for analysis is empirical, not deductive. do not begin with a theoretical framework -- even the subject field selected is based as much on evidence that there is a discourse community of scholars conducting research in the field as on the logical focus and boundaries of the them selected. Data is taken from research reports by scholars working in the subject field. Instead of looking for key words to be defined. we look for basic ideas, notions, or concepts and try to describe them in simple language. Thus the Concepts that serve as a starting point link up with each other in a theory-based context. They are the fundamental units of knowledge used by specialists in the subject field.
The classification scheme used to order the concepts contained in this volume has been designed with two main goals in mind: first, emphasis is placed on predictability, using a "form-oriented" structure that enhances the ability of users to determine where any given concept would be placed in the scheme; and second, stress on hospitality, a notation scheme that leaves many gaps so that new concepts can be inserted as they are reported.
To augment and support the search for concepts and terms a bibliographic search was carried out by Eric S. Casino in order to find representative research reports concerned with "ethnicity". The results are reflected in the essay presented in Part I of this book: "The Parameters of Ethnicity Research: Intentionality, Content, and Classification." As Eric Casino shows, research on ethnicity is carried out in many contexts: both within each established social science discipline as a specific focus of attention, and in some organized inter-disciplinary "ethnic studies" programs. No over-arching international and inter-disciplinary scholarly organization dedicated to the promotion of research on ethnicity exists, but there are many such local and regional bodies, and the major disciplinary associations typically have committees or interest groups that focus attention on some aspect of ethnic phenomena. There are also journals and newsletters that give readers access to the research literature in this subject field: they are identified and listed in the appendix to Casino's essay.
This volume is a pilot project for the "INTERCOCTA" process -- the process we visualize, of "International and Interdisciplinary Cooperation in Conceptual and Terminological Analysis." It has been financed by UNESCO, through contracts with the International Social Science Council, in order to test and illustrate the technical guidelines developed by COCTA for potential application in all future glossaries of the INTERCOCTA encyclopedia. The data offered in this pilot edition are far from complete. We have pushed to publication in order to illustrate a methodology and test its workability. Moreover, we hope that users who note gaps and errors will participate in the INTERCOCTA process by sending the editor proposed changes and additions. They will be rewarded by access to copies of the revised and expanded data base. Already at the date of publication a substantial set of new records have been collected but we could not enter them and also meet the deadline for printing this pilot edition.
Taking advantage of the relatively low cost and widespread avail-ability of microcomputers, the scheme anticipates a highly localized mode of operation. Any interested subject field group that wants to establish its own INTERCOCTA glossary will be encouraged to do so -- they can always produce and distribute copies for their members without restrictions. However if they want to have their glossary included as a volume in the INTERCOCTA encyclopedia, where it will also be collectively indexed, they will have to follow the standardized guidelines spelled out in the INTERCOCTA Manual. They will also have to recruit an editor who is able to maintain a continuously up-dated data base (terminology bank) for the project, and to supply the terms, as they are added, for inclusion in the collective index. Libraries and information centers, scattered throughout the world, will be able to subscribe to the volumes and their index giving readers a chance to find out how any given term is used and defined in various fields of knowledge. Thus a two-tiered distribution scheme is visualized: specialists will be able to secure frequently up-dated copies of the glossary for researchers in their own subject fields, and libraries will make the complete "encyclopedia" available to those who want to find out how social science terms are used in fields outside their own area of specialization. Further details and a more complete explanation of the logic and functions of the INTERCOCTA process may be secured from the editor of this volume.
An INTERCOCTA Glossary is designed not only to serve all the purposes of conventional, alphabetically arranged glossaries, but also a number of additional purposes that are even more important. These include helping scholars who have a particular concept in mind to find the most appropriate terms to designate it, facilitating the introduction and diffusion of new concepts and terms as they come up in the research and writing of scholars, and providing more satisfactory linkages between terms, their definitions, and the literature and theories in which they have been used.
1. Term-finding. Word-finding dictionaries, like Roget's familiar Thesaurus, are very helpful when one is writing in general language and needs to identify the most appropriate word already in our lexicon to express a particular idea. Such dictionaries, however, cannot help one find more specific technical terms needed in a particular subject field where recent discoveries, evolving theories and current formulations have generated new vocabulary items that are either too specialized or too recent to be included in general dictionaries.
To meet this need, an INTERCOCTA glossary is devoted to just one subject field, it is developed in close cooperation with leading specialists of that field, and it is subject to continuous up-dating by computerization. In other words, the "terminology bank" for the glossary is retained continuously in an automated data base to which recently defined concepts and newly coined terms can be added at any time. This data base may be consulted on-line by specialists interested in getting the latest information, and it may also be used to generate print-outs that can be distributed regularly to members of the interested discourse community. To serve the term-finding function, of course, the structure of an INTERCOCTA glossary Parallels that of Roget s Thesaurus: each record in the glossary identifies one and only one concept, by formal definition, and then presents the various terms that have been used by specialists to designate that concept. Each term is marked so as to help users determine which of the available terms can most precisely communicate the desired information to potential readers. By contrast with Roget's Thesaurus, an INTERCOCTA glossary gives a written definition of each concept, whereas Roget's does not and, of course, the scope of an INTERCOCTA glossary is restricted to a specific subject field whereas Roget's work covers all fields of knowledge within the domain of a general language vocabulary.
2. Facilitating Innovation. Whereas conventional glossaries, as publications, are frequently out-of-date when they are published, an INTERCOCTA glossary is a continuously growing on-line automated data base. The print-outs from this data base that may be distributed from time to time, therefore, are just timely reflections of a continuing process -- not to be viewed as "end products."
More importantly, the design of an INTERCOCTA glossary facilitates the identification of innovations. When a writer comes up with an idea that appears to be new it becomes apparent that it is difficult to demonstrate to skeptics that the idea is, indeed new. Digging through the literature is usually inconclusive because earlier works in which the same idea may have come up were simply not consulted. A search of available dictionaries and glossaries is also inconclusive since one does not know what term-forms to hunt for. One can always look up a word in an alphabetical word-list but if one does not know what to call an idea, one would have to sear,ch the whole dictionary to be sure that it had not already been identified as one of the meanings of an existing word. Nor for that matter, can one tell from any conventional information retrieval system if the concept in question is indeed new since all such systems depend on existing "descriptors" to guide users to the relevant literature. They cannot, in principle, lead users to documents that use a so-far unnamed concept.
The problem of establishing innovations becomes soluble once the classified or taxonomic structure illustrated in Roget's Thesaurus is used to organize the contents of a glossary. Just as a librarian can find the right place in a classification scheme to slot a book in accordance with its main themes what it is about, so a scholar can readily determine whether or not any supposedly new idea has already been defined in the text of an INTERCOCTA glossary. A basic taxonomy of ideas enables users to determine where any given idea would fit in the scheme -- and cross references guide users to related places in the taxonomy that might have been missed on first look.
Once all (or most) members of a given discourse community have acquired the habit of consulting the INTERCOCTA glossary in their field of interest, the procedure for introducing "new" concepts and terms becomes easy. It is really not necessary to "prove" that an idea is new -- if it has not been reported in the glossary already, one merely has to ask that it be added to the data base. Newly reported items thus supplement previously reported items -- the questions about whether or not they are "really new" need never arise. The will automatically reach all subscribers with the next print-out. If any of them happen to know of an earlier use of the same concept or term, the can prepare a suitable citation and send it to the editor. Instead of generating fruitless controversy, additional citations will create a continuously growing record of the usage of particular concepts and terms.
Users, of course, are not obliged to use any terms or concepts they do not need -- rather, they have the opportunity to add to the vocabulary they already know new items that will enrich their capacity to express themselves clearly. They will also, more readily, recognize the new concepts and terms that appear in the work of their colleagues.3. Rhetoric vs. Interpretation. Ordinary alphabetically arranged dictionaries and glossaries are particularly useful to help one solve problems of interpretation and information retrieval whenever the words used have puzzling meanings. By contrast, an INTERCOCTA glossary is designed to help writers solve problems of rhetoric (text production or composition. To explain this contrast, we must clarify the complementarity of polysemy and synonymy. Most words tn use are polysemic to the degree that they can have a range of meanings that vary with contexts of use. The problem of interpretation arises when readers seek to determine which of the possible meanings of a polyseme is appropriate in whatever text they may wish to understand. Since polysemes are spelled in a conventional way, according to well-established orthographic precedents, it is easy to look them up in an alphabetized word-list where, as in a dictionary entry, one will find definitions for the various customary senses of each word. Although all possible nuances of meaning attributable to a word cannot be given in dictionary entries, one may at least determine the broad domains within which specific interpretations become reasonable. In a more derivative way, information retrieval starts from the effort to understand what authors mean by the words they have chosen to use, and then to treat such words as index terms (or their equivalents in the form of authorized descriptors) in order to help users locate texts that are relevant to specific inquiries.
For writers who seek to convey precise ideas polysemy sometimes becomes a problem since it opens their work to ambiguity, to multiple interpretations. Such ambiguity is by no means always a disadvantage. Indeed in some fields, ranging from lyric poetry to political rhetoric and newspaper headlines, ambiguity may be valued as an asset -- metaphor and trope, allegory and aesopian language contribute to the aesthetics and challenge of text interpretation.
By contrast there are some contexts -- notably in scientific fields, including the social sciences -- in which writers may wish to communicate information, theory and analysis as unambiguously as they can. In such contexts the fact that a word can be interpreted in various ways often becomes a hindrance to clear communication. Yet the attempt to disambiguate words, to induce users to restrict the senses in which they are used, typically fails: standardization of the meanings of a word cannot succeed, especially in social science fields where coining neologisms is almost taboo and familiar words are frequently assigned new meanings, by stipulation, to designate new concepts.
There is an alternative solution to the problems of text composition (rhetoric) faced by scholars. We discover it the moment we consider synonymy as the complement to polysemy. Just as a given word may have many meanings, so for any given concept there may well be more than one designator. Each of the terms that may be used unambiguously to designate a single concept can be called a "technical synonym." (Many "synonyms," in everyday usage, have similar yet different meanings. We are not speaking here of such lexical or semi-synonyms.) If we could bring together all the technical synonyms that an author wants to use, then it would be possible to list and mark them in such a way that the writer could readily decide which term (or terms) to use in order most conveniently and unambiguously to bring that particular concept to the reader's attention. From these considerations we arrive at the possible utility of a kind of glossary record that is precisely the reverse of the normal entry found In dictionaries. Instead of listing words and giving definitions for each, we may define a concept and then give the various terns that can be used for it. Such, indeed, is the structure of all the records found in an INTERCOCTA glossary.
The words-to-concepts vs. the concept-to-terms distinction may be clarified by the The Polysemy/Synonymy Figure. The diagonal arrows which appear on the linked figure may also be drawn on the table reproduced below, if you print out this file. The numbers in each cell provide guidance: e.g., word A designates the first concept, B the first, second and fifth; the second concept can be designated by terms B,D,P,Q,R, but the 4th only by D.
The problem of POLYSEMY is solved in dictionaries by identifying the various concepts that a word can designate, facilitating the interpretation of texts. By contrast, the problem of SYNONYMY is solved by INTERCOCTA (onomantic) glossaries which facilitate the production of texts by listing the designators for each concept.
|A to 1 and 4||definition 1 to B||B|
|B to 1, 2 and 5||definition 2 TO B, D, P, Q and R||D|
|C to 1 and 4||definition 3 to no term||P|
|D to 2 and 4||definition 4 to D||Q|
|E to 5 and 3||definition 5 to B||R|
On the left side we see how dictionaries help solve problems posed by polysemy: if the word "B" for example may be used to represent the concepts identified by definitions 1, 2, and 5, one can then probably figure out which of these notions makes most sense in a given context of use. But this is a problem of text interpretation.
The writer's problems involve choices to be made among different words that can represent the same concept: e.g., whether to use B, D, P, Q, or R to signify the concept defined at "2." Although these terms are technical synonyms, they may not always be replaceable by each other. For example, B and D are equivocal (and hence possibly ambiguous) inasmuch as they can also be used to signify other concepts -- but they may be more familiar and convenient than the unequivocal terms, P, Q, and R, that could be unfamiliar neologisms or cumbersome phrases. Definition 3 lacks a designator -- a situation that often happens when new concepts are introduced, at least until someone proposes an acceptable term. Information about the available terms for concept 2 will help a writer choose those that best communicate one's intentions in a given context of use. (Further details on this point will be found below in #5.l)
One cannot search for a concept and its terms in an alphabetical word-list (dictionary) -- but the inverted design of an INTERCOCTA glossary makes such a quest feasible. Such an inverted design, however, makes it impossible to arrange the data in an alphabetical order. The first word of a definition cannot be predicted and it would therefore make no sense to use it to put records in order. However, a simple solution can be found in the use of a taxonomy or classification scheme. If it is clearly explained and readily understood, one may predict where in the scheme any particular concept would loqically fall. Moreover, an alphabetical index that lists not only the defined terms but also those that are used in defining other concepts will often guide users to places in the glossary where a given concept might possibly be classed. The point, then, is that whereas ordinary glossaries and dictionaries serve the needs of those who want to interpret texts that have already been written, a new kind of glossary based on an inverted paradigm (concept-to-terms, instead of word-to-senses) is needed to help writers find the most appropriate way to express themselves as they move into new areas of theory and research.
[NOTE: To see how this can be done in practice, take a look at the concept records drawn from the author's paper, "Turmoil Among Nations" "TAN".] 4. Theory/Concept Interaction. Another limitation of ordinary dictionaries from the point of view of writers working in a particular theoretical and paradigmatic context arises from their need to see how the different concepts of a subject field are related to each other. Theory/concept relationships are interdependent -- they tend to reinforce each other. New concepts often arise in specific research and theory-related contexts. One may discover, or find that, a new concept is relevant and useful while seeking solutions to a particular problem. If the concept is needed very often. It becomes important to find a way to refer to it simply and unambiguously. The initiation of new concepts and terms typically occurs, then, as a result of such theory-related activities.
However, a feed-back process also occurs. After a new concept has been identified and named, we find that it often has unanticipated uses. Moreover, when several concepts are defined in a taxonomic context, one sees that they imply other concepts. Sometimes they suggest new problems, thereby generating research and theoretical questions. Accordingly, the text of an INTERCOCTA glossary goes beyond the mere reporting of concepts and terms already in use. It may also identify closely linked or implied concepts that might also be interesting and useful in stimulating new hypotheses and research.
Several features of an INTERCOCTA glossary help users see the theory- related significance of the concepts defined in its records. Most importantly, the citations guide users to some relevant literature. Glossary records are typically citation-based. In principle, the concepts and terms presented in a record are derived from the published literature. However, to promote timeliness and to facilitate innovation, professional papers given at meetings of specialists, even though unpublished, can also be used to supplement more orthodox sources, such as text-books, monographs, and journal articles of the subject field concerned. By this means users who want to trace the linkages of one concept with others and its relevance to theory and research problems will find clues to some pertinent documents. Obviously no claims can be made to bibliographic completeness, but any given article or paper is likely to supply further documentation so that, from one clue to another the user is guided into the relevant literature. To supplement the materials generally available in research libraries, microfiche copies of unpublished papers will eventually be prepared.
In addition to citations, every concept record in an INTERCOCTA glossary provides internal linkages with other concepts of the same subject field. Such linkages are manifested in the basic taxonomic structure or classification scheme of the glossary. By this means records are collocated with each other - - one will find under any subject or class heading a set of closely linked concepts, and collocated classes offer further information on logical relationships in continuously expanding networks. Moreover, because it is obviously impossible to collocate all closely related concepts, the glossary links them together by several supplementary devices. Two that are particularly important are internal cross-references, by chaining and by indexing.
When two concepts are related to each other but taxonomically separated, cross-references are supplied. By this means, anyone who finds the first concept will also be guided to the second. The terms used in definitions are also "chained,' by which we mean that whenever a given concept is defined by reference to other technical concepts, the terms for the related concepts are used in definitions. Definitions written in this way are said to be "interdependent." Consider the following example:
 an objective ascriptive property such as language, religion, or race, that can be used to characterize members of a minority group: ethnic marker
 a name applied to persons who share a given "ethnic marker" : ethnonym
 a minority group possessed of an "ethnonym" : ethnic community
In this example it will be seen that the term designating the concept defined in (1] has been used in  to define another concept We may say that ethnic marker is the "defined term" in [1), but in  it becomes an "entailed term." Again, the defined term in  is an entailed term in . The use of entailed terms chains the concept of an "ethnic community" to the concept of an "ethnonym," and also chains "ethnonym" to "ethnic marker."
The index to an INTERCOCTA glossary supplies references to entailed terms, as well as to defined terms. Thus it would guide users who look up ethnonym not only to  where it is defined, but also to  where it is entailed. Moreover someone looking up the definition of ethnonym will find that it entails the term, ethnic marker and will then be guided by an "entailed number," to the technical definition of this term also. Thus the index helps users discover the conceptual linkages that in fact, reflect the theoretical framework out of which concepts, have evolved. It also provides clues to related concepts that may stimulate new questions and possibly also fruitful theoretical propositions and research.
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