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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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Collocations dictionaries for English and Spanish: the state of the art (Gloria Corpas Pastor)


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Collocation dictionaries for English and Spanish: the state of the art

Abstract: Collocations pose serious problems in language production and, to certain extent, also in comprehension. Languages differ considerably as to the range of acceptable collocational patterns. Quite often users are badly in need of reliable resources to find, check or translate collocations. In the case of Spanish and English, there are currently no bilingual dictionaries of collocations. However, there are a number of monolingual collocation dictionaries for both languages. This paper provides an up-to-date survey of available collocation dictionaries for English and Spanish, presents an overview of the underlying approaches to collocation in those dictionaries, and puts forward a tentative classification based on the degree of corpus involvement which could serve as guidance and useful information for prospective users.

Keywords: collocation, collocations dictionary, dictionary classification, corpus-based, corpus-driven

1. Introduction

Words seem to have a natural tendency towards individual or mutual attraction. Word preferences, combinatory properties, lexical restrictions and syntagmatic structures are just some alternative terms to refer to this linguistic phenomenon and its explicit manifestations: collocations, i.e. arbitrary, domain-dependent, diasystematically restricted and cohesive lexical patterns which vary from one language to another. For instance, when you infer from evidence or premises, you draw a conclusion in English, whereas in Spanish the corresponding collocation is sacar una conclusion. Unlike idioms (e.g., draw fire, ‘attract criticism’; sacar a uno de quicio, ‘drive someone crazy’)...

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