Burning questions, but no burning answers: collocation and idiomaticity

Ramesh Krishnamurthy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


    The attention of linguists has increasingly shifted from grammar to lexis. Collocation has emerged as a key feature of lexis. Research using large language corpora has not only helped to identify the significant collocates of individual words but also to confirm the importance of collocation in the language system. John Sinclair has suggested that language operates on two principles: open choice and idiom. If so, then collocation would appear to be the minimal level of idiomaticity. One problem with collocation is that words that habitually co-occur form less distinct, often discontinuous, idiomatic units, whereas grammar generally works with more precisely delineated and contiguous structural units. This paper uses examples from corpus evidence to look at various aspects of collocation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication10th Annual KOTESOL International Conference proceedings 2002
    EditorsR.J. Dickey
    Place of PublicationSeoul (KR)
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Bibliographical note

    10th Annual KOTESOL International Conference 2002, 5-6 October 2002, Seoul (KR).


    • linguists
    • grammar
    • lexis
    • idiomaticity
    • collocation


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