shared task on automatic identification of verbal MWEs - edition 1.0 (2017)
Lexicalized components and open slots
Just like a regular verb, the head verb of a VMWE may have a varying number of compulsory arguments, that is, arguments that must be present in each occurrence of this VMWE. For instance, the direct object and the prepositional complement are compulsory in the VMWE
Some components of such compulsory arguments may be lexicalized, that is, always realized by the same lexemes. Here, by surprise is lexicalized while someone is not.This definition of a lexicalized component naturally extends to any syntactic type of MWE. Namely, the head of a (nominal, adjectival, prepositional etc.) MWE is lexicalized (always realized by the same lexeme) together with at least one component of at least one of its modifiers.
The head verb of a VMWE is always considered lexicalized. When it can be replaced by another verb, like in
Conversely, a component of a compulsory argument which can be realized by a free lexeme taken from a relatively large semantic class is called an open slot. In the following VMWE examples (cited after Gross 1994), all having the same syntactic structure NP V NP Prep NP, the lexicalized arguments are highlighted in bold:
took the bull by the horns.
- The news
tookJohn by surprise.
took partin the inquiry Money burns a hole inBob’s
Prepositions have a special status with respect to the notion of lexicalization. In the first, second and fourth example above, the prepositions by and in are lexicalized since they introduce lexicalized complements (the horns, surprise and pocket). However, in the third case the preposition in introduces an open slot whose meaning compositionally combines with the meaning of the VMWE
Reflexive clitics in inherently reflexive verbs also have a special lexicalization status. In some languages, the same reflexive clitic is used regardless of the person and number, inflecting for case only:
смея се laugh se.REFL to laugh
намирам се find se.REFL to be (somewhere)
znajduję się find.1.SG.PRES self I find myself
znajdujesz się find.2.SG.PRES self you find yourself
znajdują się find.3.PL.PRES self they find themselves
smejim se laugh.1.SG self I laugh
smejiš se laugh.2.SG self You laugh
smejijo se laugh.3.PL self they laugh
In other languages, reflexive clitics agree in person and number with the subject and the verb:
- No examples found for Bulgarian.
sie wundert sich she wonders self.3.SG she wonders
ihr wundert euch you.PL wonder.2.PL self.2.PL you wonder
yo me quejo I self.1.SG complain I complain
tu te quejas you self.2.SG complain You complain
je me trouve I self.1.SG find I find myslef
tu te trouves you self.2.SG find you find yourself
io mi meraviglio I self.1.SG wonder I wonder
tu ti meravigli you self.2.SG woder you wonder
eu me queixo I self.1.SG complain I complain
tu te queixas you self.2.SG complain You complain
eu mă gândesc I Refl.Cl.1sg.Acc. think I am thinking
tu te gândeștiyou Refl.Cl.2sg.Acc. thinkyou are thinking
It this case, the clitic is realized by different lexemes, depending on the number and gender. Strictly speaking, it is not lexicalized. However, we admit that, regardless of the language, the reflexive clitic is a unique lexeme (with lemma się, se, sich, etc.) inflecting for person and number. It is thus lexicalized in inherently reflexive verbs.