Lexicalized Syntax: Phraseology

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In this chapter I deal with some basic syntactic and semantic properties of lexicalized phrases. In particular, I concentrate on the distinction between idioms and collocations and apply it to some basic types of lexicalized phrases in Catalan, with a main focus on verbal phrases. Some relevant remarks are also made on lexicalized prepositional, adverbial, and adjectival phrases, among others. Following Nunberg/ Sag/Wasow (1994), three different semantic properties are distinguished when dealing with the interpretation of lexicalized phrases: conventionality, compositionality, and transparency. Strictly speaking, only those lexicalized phrases whose meaning is non-compositional can be classified as idioms. In contrast, those expressions that are idiomatic but do have a compositional meaning are better referred to as idiomatic collocations. The semantic property of (non-)compositionality is shown to be correlated with the syntactic property of (in-)flexibility. Furthermore, the conceptual property of transparency/opacity is claimed to be related to the presence/absence of metaphorical motivation (Lakoff 1993; Gibbs 1995; Espinal/Mateu 2010).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManual of Catalan Linguistics
EditorsJoan A. Argenter, Jens Lüdtke
Place of PublicationBerlin, Boston
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783110450408
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameManuals of Romance Linguistics
PublisherDe Gruyter


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