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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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Core vocabulary and core collocations: combining corpus analysis and native speaker judgement to inform selection of collocations in learner dictionaries (Veronica Benigno and Olivier Kraif)


Veronica Benigno and Olivier Kraif Core vocabulary and core collocations: combining corpus analysis and native speaker judgement to inform selection of collocations in learner dictionaries Abstract: This paper presents the concepts of “core vocabulary” and “core colloca- tions” and discusses implications for the treatment of collocations in monolingual learner phraseological dictionaries. In the first section, we give an account of what the above concepts refer to by drawing on previous research. In the second part, we present the findings from a study (Benigno et al. 2015; Benigno et al. forthcoming) using L1 speaker judgements to validate a method to automatically extract core collocations from frWaC (Baroni et al. 2010), a very large web-corpus. The study aims to identify what features can be used to define and filter “core collocations” from a set of potential can- didates – which were retrieved from the corpus by means of frequency, dispersion, and associative measures and then subjected to the evaluation of a group of native speak- ers who were asked to decide about the importance of collocations to communicate in everyday situations. Findings from the study showed that frequency is an appropriate but not sufficient measure to identify such central and nuclear units in language. In fact native speakers seem to attach importance (intended as usefulness in language use) to highly restricted and fixed units regardless of their frequency of occurrence – provid- ing evidence of the fact that what is core is not systematically a matter of frequency. Based on these findings, the third...

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