CHAPTER 6

Collocations and Other Multiword Expressions

#37 Multiword expressions (MWEs) straddle the boundary between lexical and compositional semantics.

Multiword expressions (MWEs) are collections of words which co-occur and are idiosyncratic in one or more aspects of their form or meaning [Sag et al., 2002, Baldwin and Kim, 2010]. The idiosyncrasy could be simply statistical, where words co-occur with a frequency much greater than chance (e.g., sperm whale) (see #38 below, and Cruse, 1986, Sag et al., 2002); syntactic, where the form of the MWE departs from typical syntactic rules for the language (e.g., long time no see) [Bauer, 1983, Chafe, 1968]; semantic, where the meaning of the full expression is not predictable on the basis of its ...

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