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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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Monolingual collocation lexicography: State of art and new perspectives (Adriana Orlandi)


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Monolingual collocation lexicography: State of art and new perspectives

Abstract: In this paper we will outline a state of art of research in monolingual collocation lexicography. Our aim is to give the reader an overview of the main results attained by linguists and lexicographers in this domain, starting from the definition of collocation (Section 1), examining (semi)automatic extraction of collocation candidates useful to the lexicographic work (Section 2), and going through to the organization of a dictionary of collocations (Section 3), with its macro and microstructure (Sections 3.1 and 3.2). The last part of this paper (Section 4) will be devoted to the development of electronic dictionaries. Each topic will be dealt with by considering both lexicographic theory and practice, and relevant aspects for the development of future collocation lexicography will be particularly emphasized.

Keywords: collocations – lexicography – definition – linguistic theories

1. Defining collocations from a lexicographic perspective

According to Williams, “collocation is not a grammatical or lexical structure that accepts a precise definition, but a phenomenon of language that can only be defined within a school of thought and with a particular application in mind” (2013: 91). Three important issues come to the fore. First, the (im)possibility of specifying the concept of collocation, and most particularly the impossibility for a definition of collocation to be formulated out of a theoretical background. Second, the lexical and/or grammatical nature of the collocational phenomenon. Third,...

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