Multiword expressions: Insights from a multi-lingual perspective

Manfred Sailer   Stella Markantonatou  


Multiword expressions (MWEs) are a challenge for both the natural language applications and the linguistic theory because they often defy the application of the machinery developed for free combinations where the default is that the meaning of an utterance can be predicted from its structure. There is a rich body of primarily descriptive work on MWEs for many European languages but comparative work is little. The volume brings together MWE experts to explore the benefits of a multilingual perspective on MWEs. The ten contributions in this volume look at MWEs in Bulgarian, English, French, German, Maori, Modern Greek, Romanian, Serbian, and Spanish. They discuss prominent issues in MWE research such as classification of MWEs, their formal grammatical modeling, and the description of individual MWE types from the point of view of different theoretical frameworks, such as Dependency Grammar, Generative Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, Lexicon Grammar.


  • The syntactic flexibility of semantically non-decomposable idioms
    Sascha Bargmann, Manfred Sailer
  • Semantic and syntactic patterns of multiword names
    A cross-language study
    Svetla Koeva, Cvetana Krstev, Duško Vitas, Tita Kyriacopoulou, Claude Martineau, Tsvetana Dimitrova
  • MWEs and the Emotion Lexicon
    Typological and cross-lingual considerations
    Aggeliki Fotopoulou, Voula Giouli
  • Flexibility of Multi-Word Expressions and Corpus Pattern Analysis
    Patrick Hanks, Ismail El Marouf, Michael Oakes
  • Multiword expressions and the Law of Exceptions
    Koenraad Kuiper
  • Choosing features for classifying multiword expressions
    Éric Laporte
  • Revisiting the grammatical function "object" (OBJ and OBJ_θ)
    Stella Markantonatou, Niki Samaridi
  • Derivation in the domain of multiword expressions
    Verginica Barbu Mititelu, Svetlozara Leseva
  • Modeling multiword expressions in a parallel Bulgarian-English newsmedia corpus
    Petya Osenova, Kiril Simov
  • Spanish multiword Expressions
    Looking for a taxonomy
    Carla Parra Escartín, Almudena Nevado Llopis, Eoghan Sánchez Martínez



Manfred Sailer

Manfred Sailer (1969) is professor of English Linguistics at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M. He studied general linguistics, computer science and psychology at Universität Tübingen (Master 1995, Promotion 2003) and received his postdoctoral degree (Habilitation) in English and General Linguistics at Göttingen University (2010). His main areas of research are the syntax-semantics interface, formal phraseology, negation, and the interaction of regularity and irregularity in language.

Stella Markantonatou

Stella Markantonatou (1958) has studied Chemical Engineering (National Technical University of Athens) and Linguistics (Nationaland Kapodistrian University of Athens) and holds a PhD in Linguistics (University of Essex). She is a Research Director with the Institute for Language and Speech Processing/Athena RIC, Athens, Greece. She has published on the formal study of the syntax-semantics interface, on phrase-based Machine Translation, and on the development of lexical resources.


October 16, 2017
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Sailer, Manfred & Markantonatou, Stella (eds.). 2017. Multiword expressions: Insights from a multi-lingual perspective. (Phraseology and Multiword Expressions 1). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1182583


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