Although the study of terminological profiles remains a relatively under-researched area, it is highly relevant in both theoretical and practical terms. From a general perspective, it can contribute to filling a gap in studies of word formation, which have always been heavily biased towards non-technical, everyday language (cf. Marchand 1969 and Bauer, Lieber, and Plag 2013 for English, Fleischer and Barz 2012 for German, Szymanek 2010 for Polish and Rainer 1993 for Spanish). Furthermore, thorough terminological profiles would obviously also be of interest to applied linguistics, especially in the areas of translation studies (cf. now ten Hacken 2013, 2014) and the teaching of languages for specific purposes. Even today, neither translators nor language teachers or learners can rely on systematic descriptions of term structure. In particular, the contrastive observations in Section 3, even if preliminary due to the smallness of the corpus, are useful in highlighting the main areas of variation between the four languages concerned, areas that should be given privileged attention in language teaching.

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