Forthcoming: The role of constituents in multiword expressions: An interdisciplinary, cross-lingual perspective

Sabine Schulte im Walde   Eva Smolka  


Multiword expressions (MWEs), such as noun compounds (e.g. nickname in English, and Ohrwurm in German), complex verbs (e.g. give up in English, and aufgeben in German) and idioms (e.g. break the ice in English, and das Eis brechen in German), may be interpreted literally but often undergo meaning shifts with respect to their constituents. Theoretical, psycholinguistic as well as computational linguistic research remain puzzled by when and how MWEs receive literal vs. meaning-shifted interpretations, what the contributions of the MWE constituents are to the degree of semantic transparency (i.e., meaning compositionality) of the MWE, and how literal vs. meaning-shifted MWEs are processed and computed. This edited volume presents an interdisciplinary selection of six papers on recent findings across linguistic, psycholinguistic, corpus-based and computational research fields and perspectives, discussing the interaction of constituent properties and MWE meanings, and how MWE constituents contribute to the processing and representation of MWEs. The collection is based on a workshop at the 2017 annual conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) that took place at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany


  • An interdisciplinary, cross-lingual perspective on the role of constituents in multiword expressions
    Sabine Schulte im Walde, Eva Smolka
  • Aiming with → arrows ← at particles
    Towards a conceptual analysis of directional meaning components in German particle verbs
    Sylvia Springorum, Sabine Schulte im Walde
  • Do semantic features capture a syntactic classification of compounds?
    Insights from compositional distributional semantics
    Sandro Pezzelle, Marco Marelli
  • Compositionality in English deverbal compounds
    The role of the head
    Gianina Iordăchioaia, Lonneke van der Plas, Glorianna Jagfeld
  • Internal constituent variability and semantic transparency in N Prep N constructions in Romance languages
    Inga Hennecke
  • Production of multiword referential phrases
    Inclusion of over-specifying information and a preference for modifier-noun phrases
    Christina L. Gagné, Thomas L. Spalding, J. Claire Burry, Jessica Tellis Adams
  • Can you reach for the planets or grasp at the stars?
    Modified noun, verb, or preposition constituents in idiom processing
    Eva Smolka, Carsten Eulitz
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