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Defining collocation for lexicographic purposes

From linguistic theory to lexicographic practice


Edited By Adriana Orlandi and Laura Giacomini

This volume aims to promote a discussion on the definition of collocation that will be useful for lexicographic purposes. Each of the papers in the volume contains addresses in detail one or more aspects of three main issues. The first issue concerns, on the one hand, the boundaries between collocations and other word combinations, and the way in which lexicographers convey classifications to dictionary users. The second issue is the possibility, or even necessity, of adapting the definition of collocation to the objectives of different types of dictionaries, taking into account their specific micro- and macro-structural properties and their users’ needs. The third issue concerns the methods for collocation extraction. In order to tailor the definition of collocation to the actual dictionary function, it is necessary to develop hybrid methods relying on corpus-based approaches and combining data processing with criteria such as native speakers’ evaluation and contrastive analysis.


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What do we talk about when we talk about collocation in Spanish? (Daniela Capra)


Daniela Capra What do we talk about when we talk about collocation in Spanish? Abstract: The aim of this paper is to offer an overview of the concept of collocation as it is seen in Spanish linguistics. Several perspectives are critically examined, among which those of E. Coseriu (1967) – for its influence on most of the subsequent linguists for his ‘lexical solidarities’ –, Corpas Pastor (1996) – whose Manual is considered a key text on this topic –, Koike (2001), the author of the most complete corpus-based classi- fication of collocations in Spanish. Besides, a point is made about light verb construc- tions and other types of combinations. The basic definition of collocation in Spanish has to do with the idea of inner fixity and repetition (Zuluaga 2002); on the other hand, there are restrictions in word combinations and it can be argued that this is the foundation of most definitions of collocation. Under this point of view, Bosque’s dictionary (2004) could be regarded as a dictionary of collocations, even though he says it is not. Moreo- ver, it is usually pointed out that collocations’ meaning is clear and in no case idiomatic, but this is not always true. In conclusion, collocation is a heterogeneous category; its boundaries, on one side close to certain types of fixed expressions (called ‘locuciones’ in Spanish) and on the other quite similar to linguistical formulations that are consid- ered free combinations (i.e., without fixity), are not clear-cut and definite ones. Keywords: Spanish collocation, lexical solidarity, word combination,...

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