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Title: Acquiring phrasal lexicons from corpora
Author: Bannard, Colin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis deals with the acquisition from corpora of information about the phrasal lexicon. While varying greatly in their treatment of such items, all schools of linguistic thought acknowledge that the lexicon contains not only single words, but a considerable number of multiword sequences (multiword expressions or MWEs). As for individual words, an adequate description of MWEs must be based on the systematic study of real usage, which can best be achieved with the use of corpus data. However, lexicographers cannot manually inspect every combination of words in the corpus with a view to deciding whether that phrase should be included in the lexicon. There is therefore considerable need for well-motivated ways of automatically identifying units of interest. We begin by looking at the range of arguments that have been made for the inclusion of different kinds of multiword expression in the lexicon. We identify arguments for inclusion made on the separate grounds of frequency, syntax and meaning. Subsequent chapters look at acquiring information about these three different dimensions, and demonstrate that different varieties of expression require different techniques. In chapter three, we look at the relative frequency of multiword sequences. We consider arguments that MWEs are too inconsistent in occurrence for their frequency profile to be adequately described using existing corpora. In chapter four, we look at the problem of syntactically fixed units. In chapter five, we look at the phenomena of non-compositionality. Languages contain a great many units whose meaning cannot be derived analytically from the meanings of their component words. We look here at the example of the verb-particle construction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available