Terminology, the Key of Environmental Hazard Management

Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor, Department of GIS and Environmental Hazard, Lenjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


Widespread use of apparently synonymous vocabulary in the environmental hazards science is not an unfamiliar issue for specialists in this field. Therefore, the research question is whether the words such as natural disasters, natural emergency, or natural hazards have the same meaning? And do these words really have same meanings? If the answer is negative, what are the implications for the use of synonymous vocabulary? This article attempts to answer these questions by using discourse analysis, and the method of PDAM, as well as selecting ten academic titles and three texts, which have been obtained from texts in the domain of these sciences. The results of this study show that linguistic features such as semantic and linguistic have a significant impact in research and theoretical of sciences such as epistemology, ontology, and epistemology. Extreme issues will be executed as it can be claimed that management of environmental hazards is much more promising rather than focusing on the recognition of the physical phenomenon, and the formulation of managerial and operational frameworks, and the precise explanation of specialized vocabulary.
Interpretations in Environmental Hazards Management in Iran shows a relative failure to reduce harmful effects, injuries, and consequences. There was a poor management regarding to this issue, while a large number of organizations, universities, and research institutes have been conducting research in this field in recent years, and there are still at the time of the disasters. So the main questions of this research are: What is the root of this failure? Why, nowadays, our scientific community does not agree on the use of the terms of this science?
Materials and methods
For this research, triple steps have been performed as follows. In the first stage of the research, the method of the discourse analysis method was used. The second step was to analyze the causes of the use of synonyms, spatially in Farsi, and in the third step, some of the consequences of the use of synonymous vocabulary in the field of environmental hazards have been done. The second and third parts of the research were conducted using the library-analytical method.
Results and Discussion
First stage
Exploring the texts, using the practical discourse analysis as "PDAM" on the diversity of terms, the following results were briefly gained:
1.1 Widespread ambiguity is in the concepts and vocabulary of environmental hazards.
1.2 The lack and uncertainty of the rules related to disaster management.
1.3 Lack of transparency in job descriptions within rules and regulations.
Second stage
Paying attention to concepts such as synonym, polysemy, and linguistic relativism implies that:
2.1 Proper language usage is important.
2.2 Language is not merely a duty to communicate.
2.3 Vocabulary in any language contains more complex concepts beyond their communication function.
2.4 The absence of a word for a concept in a language is due to the lack of concepts and implications of the term.
2.5 The lack of words for a concept in a language undermine the understanding of that concept by users of that language.
2.6 The absence of explicit and precise terms for a concept in a language result in synonymous and meaningful uses, which will cause confusion and increasing distraction from the audience.
Third stage
Each research is based on deep philosophical and theoretical foundations. In fact, the question or hypothesis is a subject that depends on the researcher's view of ontology, epistemology, paradigms, and methodology [27]. The very important point is that all of the above-mentioned components are dependent on the vocabulary and terminology; in other words, the vocabulary and specialized reform of each discipline are an integral part of any of the research phases.
The results of this research indicated that the terms in the language contains more complex concepts than their communication function, so it is very important that the vocabularies of the environmental hazards would be provided by an official authority in the country. Since terminology is very essential in environmental perceptions, the United Nations Office for the Reducing of the Risk of Crisis has provided a unique glossary, which includes an accurate definition of fifty-three words on its website. This glossary has been translated into English, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. The editors of this specialized dictionary in its second edition, which took place in 2015, stated in its introduction section that the terms used to refine the thirty-five thousand documents and scientific reports have been extracted. Undoubtedly, less science has so far been emphasized on the use of specialized vocabulary. Therefore, it is suggested that the Disaster Management Agency of the country, as an official reference, translate this dictionary into Persian with the help of experts.


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