Multiword Referring Expression

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A multiword referring expression is a referring expression whose meaning is defined by two or more lexemes.





    • Qualities of Multiword Expressions
    • Institutionalisation/conventionalisation: process of an expression becoming recognised and accepted as a lexical item, through consistent use over time (necessary but not sufficient condition on MWE-hood)
    • Lexicogrammatical fixedness: formal rigidity, preferred lexical realisation, restrictions on aspect, mood, voice, etc. (neither necessary nor sufficient condition on MWE-hood)
    • Semantic/pragmatic non-compositionality: there is a mismatch between the semantics/pragmatics of the parts and the whole; includes the case of the component lexical items having specialised meanings within the context of the MWE, not accessible in simplex contexts (not necessary but sufficient)
    • Syntactic irregularity: the expression cannot be parsed based on the simplex morphology (parts of speech) of the components (not necessary but sufficient)
    • Non-identifiability: when first exposed to the expression, the meaning cannot be predicted from its surface form (not necessary but sufficient)
    • Situatedness: the expression is associated with a fixed pragmatic point (neither necessary nor sufficient)
    • Figuration: the expression encodes some metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, etc, even if the nature thereof is underspecified (neither necessary nor sufficient)
    • Proverbiality: the expression is used "to describe -- and implicitly, to explain--a recurrent situation of particular social interest … in virtue of its resemblance or relation to a scenario involving homely, concrete things and relations" (neither necessary nor sufficient)
    • Informality: the expression is associated with more informal or colloquial registers (neither necessary nor sufficient)
    • Affect: the expression encodes a certain evaluation of affective stance toward the thing it denotes (neither necessary nor sufficient)