The many variants of abbreviated forms: Abbreviated forms used in German legal and administrative university language and their variation within and across legal systems
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The article presents a corpus-based, contrastive study of abbreviations and their terminological variation in higher education normative texts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The results based on quantitative and qualitative data show that abbreviations in LSP are very frequent but difficult to decode. They are highly unstable, both within and across legal systems. Variation can affect the designation as well as the concept or both levels, as our classification clearly illustrates. In the case of pluricentric languages like German, abbreviations in LSP represent a great challenge for text reception, production, including translation, especially because we verify that they are largely absent from relevant lexicographic and terminological resources. Our results therefore highlight the need for a more systematic inclusion and classification of abbreviated forms in monolingual and multilingual reference works. This is particularly relevant for pluricentric languages and for legal terminology.
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