Annotation guidelines
PARSEME shared task on automatic identification of verbal MWEs - edition 1.1 (2018)


Syntactic variants of VMWEs

VMWEs occurring in a corpus can have various syntactic structures. Since the linguistic tests are structure-driven (cf. e.g. structural tests), there is a necessity to neutralize variation before the tests are applied. In this section we introduce definitions answering these needs.

Prototypical forms

A (candidate) VMWE in its prototypical form (if it exists) is a verbal phrase in active voice whose head verb is in a finite form and whose other lexicalized components depend either on the verb or on another lexicalized component. The VMWE can also contain coordinated verbs. These phrases can be:
  • Partly saturated, where only some of their arguments are lexicalized:
    • пиля нечии нерви scrape someone's nerves to annoy someone
      вземам трудно решение make a difficult decision to make a difficult decision
    • traf eine Entscheidung made a decision
      nahm sich das zu Herzen took this to heart
    • παίρνω μία δύσκολη απόφαση take-1SG a-FE.SG.AC difficult-FE.SG.AC decision-FE.SG.AC to take a difficult decision
      παίρνω τα μέτρα μου take-1.SG the-NE.PL.AC measures-NE.PL.AC my-1.SG.GE.POSS to take precautions
      γράφω κάποιον στα παλιά μου τα παπούτσια write-1.SG someone to-the-NE.PL.AC old-NE.PL.AC my-1.SG.GE.POSS shoes-NE.PL.AC to ignore someone
    • made a decision
      break her heart
      took this to heart
      could take this to heart
      would have been making a decision
      could have made a different decision
    • tomó una decisión took.he/she a decision he/she made a decision
      le hubiera roto el corazón him/her would_have broken.he/she the heart he/she would have broken his/her heart
      se lo tomaría muy a pecho him/her it would_take very to breast he/she would to it deeply to heart
    • erabakia hartu decision take make the decision
      erabaki bat hartu decision one take make a decision
      erabaki garrantzitsuak hartzen ari ziren decision importants taking they-were they were making important decisions
    • a eu du courage has had some courage had courage
    • podnijeti ostavku to submit resign to resign, uzeti što k srcu to take something to heart to think about something seriously
    • sétát tesz to take a walk
    • prendere una decisionemake a decision take a decision
      spezzare il cuorebreak the heart break the heart
      prendere a cuore take to heart take to heart
    • podjął niejedną trudną decyzję took.3.SG not-one hard decision he took several hard decisions
    • eles deram uma caminhada they gave a walk they took a walk
    • a trece ceva cu vederea to pass sth with sight.the.ACC to overlook
      a trece ceva sub tăcere to keep something under silence.ACC to keep quiet about something
    • zlomiti komu srce to break someone's heart to hurt someone's feelings bad
      vzeti si k srcu take something to heart to think about something seriously
      bi si lahko to vzel k srcu could take this to heart could think about this seriously
      bo v pomoč will be in help will be helpful
    • fattade ett belsut made a decision
  • Partly saturated, where the lexicalized arguments include the subject:
    • излиза ми име appears for-me.DAT name a name sticks for/to me
      чашата на търпението ми прелива glass.DET of patience my.POS overflows my patience runs out
    • ein Vöglein hat mir gezwitschert a little bird has to me twittered a little bird told me
    • μου έφυγε ο τάκος me.GEN left the chosk I was very tired
    • a little bird told someone, the problem lies in something
    • me lo ha dicho un pajarito to_me it has said a little_bird a little bird has told me
    • txoritxo batek kontatu dit little-bird one told me a little bird told me
    • problem leži u čemu the problem lies in something
    • me lo ha detto un uccellino to me it told a little bird a little bird told me
    • mina komuś zrzedła the face someone.DAT thinned one lost one's confidence
    • a sua hora chegou your time has arrived your time has come
    • a mustra cugetul (pe cineva) to chide consciousness-the (PE_Acc somebody) the consciousness chides (PE somebody)
    • srce pade v hlače komu (someone's) heart drops into the pants one is lacking courage to do something , sekira pade v med komu (someone's) hatchet falls in honey one gets lucky
  • Partly saturated, where lexicalized head verbs are coordinated:
    • цъфна и вържа to blossom and give fruit (usually sarcastically) to prosper
    • leben und leben lassen to live and let live to live and let live
    • απορώ και εξίσταμαι wonder1.SG and be-amazed1.SG to wonder
    • drink and drive
    • coser y cantar to_sew and to_sing easy as pie, a piece of cake
    • ikusi eta ikasi see and learn
    • žariti i paliti to stoke and to burn to be powerful , vedriti i oblačiti to brighten and to cloud to be poweful
    • vivi e lascia vivere to live and let live to live and let live
    • pluł i łapał he spit and catched (he) was lazy, (he) did nothing useful
    • pintar e bordar paint and knit to abuse
    • a tunat și i-a adunatit.has thundered and CL.ACC-it.has gatheredbirds of a feather flock together
      seamănă, dar nu răsaresow.3SG (homonym of resemble), but not sprout.3SGnot to resemble
    • živi in pusti živeti to live and let live to live and let live
  • Fully saturated:
    • пиле не може да прехвръкне bird cannot fly in it is very strictly guarded
    • der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurmthe early bird catches the wormthe early bird catches the worm
    • το έξυπνο πουλί από τη μύτη πιάνεται the clever bird is-caught-3SG by the nose people who consider themelves clever fail
    • the early bird catches the worm
    • los ojos son el reflejo del alma the eyes are the reflection from_the soul the eyes are the window to the soul
    • aho hertsitik ez da eulirik sartzen mouth shut-from no is fly coming-in a shut mouth catches no flies
    • à quelque chose malheur est bon for something bad luck is good bad experiences may bring unexpected positive effects
    • tko rano rani, dvije sreće grabi who early comes, two lucks grabs the early bird catches the worm
    • il mattino ha l'oro in boccathe morning has the gold in mouth the early bird catches the worm
    • nie od razu Kraków zbudowano not at once Cracow was built Rome was not built in a day
      kości zostały rzuconethe dice have been thrownalea iacta est
    • quem vê cara não vê coração who sees face doesn't see heart a person can lie/omit his/her feelings
    • se revarsă zorile Refl.Cl.3sg.Acc. flow_out dawns it is getting morning
    • kdor prej pride, prej melje who comes first, mills first it's on a first-come, first-serve basis
      še pes ima rad pri jedi mir even the dog does not want to be disturbed during its meals do not bother people during their meals

Meaning-preserving variants

Meaning-preserving variants of a (candidate) VMWE include notably:
  • Verbal expressions with analytical tenses and modals:
    • щях да съм взел важно решение I would have made a decition
    • έχουν πάρει την απόφαση
    • they have made a decision
      we are making a decision
    • han tomado una decisión have taken_they a decision they have made a decision
    • ils ont pris une décision they have made a decision
    • mi smo donijeli odluku we have made the decision
    • hanno preso una decisione they have made a decision
    • będzie podejmował niejedną trudną decyzję will take several hard decisions
    • Estou tomando uma decisão I-am taking a decision I am making a decision
      eles haviam tomado uma decisão they had made a decision
    • noi am luat decizia we have made the decision
    • je zlomil komu srce has broken someone's heart has hurt bad someone's feelings
  • Nominal groups (headed by nominal complements from the prototypical VMWEs) with relative clauses:
    • решението, което взех decision.DET which I.PRODROP made the decision which I made
    • Entscheidungen die wir trafen decisions which we made
      Herzen die wir gebrochen haben hearts which we broke have hearts which we have broken
    • η απόφαση που πήραμε
      η πλάκα που κάναμε
    • decisions which we made
      heart which we broke
    • la decisión que tomamos es arriesgada the decision which took_we is bold the decision we made is bold
      no te imaginas la ilusión que le hizo not you imagine_you the excitement which to_him/to_her made_it you cannot imagine how excited he/she was by it
    • hartutako erabakia taken decision the decision (which was) made
    • les décisions que nous avons prises hier sont bonnes the decisions that we have taken yesterday are good the decisions that we have made yesterday are good
    • odluka koju je donio decisions which he took
    • la decisione che prendemmo the decision which we took the decision which we made
      i cuori che abbiamo spezzato the hearts which we have broken hearts which we have broken
    • decyzje, które podjął decisions which he took
    • a apresentação que Maria fez the presentation that Mary made
    • decizia pe care am luat-o the decision that we have made
    • srca, ki jih je zlomil hearts which he has broken (people's) feelings which he hurt bad
  • Non-finite verbal clauses (with infinitives, participles, gerunds, etc.)
    • взетите вече решения the decisions already made
      броящ звезди who counts stars
      неразбитите все още от него сърца the hearts not yet broken by him
      вземайки това решение (while) making this decision
    • aus|machen out|make open
      eine Entscheidung treffen a decision meet to make a decision
      früher getroffene Entscheidungen earlier made decisions
    • έχω πάρει την απόφασή μου
      παίρνοντας αποφάσεις
      κάνοντας πλάκα
    • we want to make a decision
      to break one's heart is easy
      we avoid making decisions
      heart breakingthe act of breaking hearts
      decisions previously made
      all hearts broken by him
      breaking her heart
      they passed a piece of watered-down legislation
    • tomar una decisión será difícil to_take a decision will be hard it will be hard to_make a decision
      solo te tiene que hacer ilusión only to_you has that to_make excitement you only need to be excited about it
      las decisiones tomadas ayer son decisivas the decisions taken yesterday are decisive the decisions made yesterday are final
      el trato hecho previamente será respetado the agreement made previously will_be observed the previously made agreement will be observed
    • erabakia hartu decision take decide, make a decision
      erabaki asko hartu decision many take make many decisions
      emandako pausoak given steps the steps (which were) taken
      pauso-ematea step-give the step taking, the action of taking steps
    • il faut avoir du courage one must to-have some courage to have courage is necessary
      les décisions prises hier sont bonnes the decisions taken yesterday are good the decisions that were made yesterday are good
      les personnes subissant plusieurs opérations sont fragiles the people undergoing several surgical operations are fragile
    • donijeti odluku to bring a decision to make a decision
      unaprijed donesena odluka the decision made in advance
    • prendere una decisione take a decision to make a decision
      decisioni prese precedentemente earlier made decisions
      prendendo questa decisione by making this decision
    • podjąć niejedną trudną decyzję to make several hard decisions
      podejmowanie decyzji teh making of a decisiondecision making
      podejmujący trudne decyzje making hard decisions
    • tomar essa decisão será difícil to-make this decision will-be difficult to make this decision will be difficult
      eu evito tomar decisões precipitadas I avoid to-take decisions precipitated I avoid taking precipitated decisions
      a decisão tomada ontem the decision made yesterday
      a mulher tomando um banho the woman taking a shower
    • lua o decizie to make a decision
      decizia recent luată the decision recently made
      luând decizia making the decision
    • treba ji je bilo zlomiti srce it was necessary to broke her heart her feelings had to be hurt bad
      lomljenje src breaking (people's) hearts hurting (people's) feelings
      nedavno zlomljeno srce recently broken heart
  • Diathesis alternation (passive, impersonal, middle, etc.) Some VMWEs (especially LVCs) do allow diathesis alternation.:
    • беше взето важно решение (passive alternation) a decision has been made
    • ελήφθησαν σημαντικές αποφάσεις (passive alternation) were-taken important decisions important decisions were made
      έγιναν σημαντικές αλλαγές (middle alternation) were-made important changes important changes were made
    • important decisions were made (passive alternation)
    • decisiones importantes fueron tomadas durante la reunión (passive alternation) decisions important were taken during the meeting important decisions were made during the meeting
      las decisiones importantes se toman con calma (middle alternation) the decisions important SE_PARTICLE take with calm important decisions are made quietly
    • erabaki garrantzitsuak hartu ziren decision importants taken were important decisions were made →middle, impersonal use
    • les décisions importantes se prennent en groupe the decisions important SELF take in group important decisions are made collectively (middle alternation)
    • odluka je donesena the decision was taken (passive alternation)
    • le decisioni importanti sono state prese the decisions important are been taken important decisions are made (passive alternation)
      le decisioni importanti si prendono con calma (middle alternation) the decisions important SE_PARTICLE take with calm important decisions are made quietly
    • decyzja została podjęta the decision was taken (passive alternation)
      decyzje nie podejmują się same decisions do not take SELF alone decisions are not taken on their own (middle alternation)
    • decisões importantes foram tomadas ontem (passive alternation) decisions important were taken yesterday important decisions were made yesterday
      tomam-se decisões importantes aqui (middle alternation) take-SELF decisions important here important decisions are made here
    • deciziile au fost luate de consiliu decisions-the have been taken by council the decisions have been taken by the council (passive alternation)
    • njegov piskrček je bil pristavljen k nečemu his little pot was added to someting to join something in order to profit from it (passive alternation)
  • Expressions with interposed modifiers (e.g. complex determiners and quantifiers, such as half a dozen, an impressive number of, …):
    • те нанесоха многобройни щетиapply tests to те нанесоха щети
    • they had taken a significant number of stepsapply tests to they take steps
    • habían tomado un gran número de decisiones had_they taken a great number of decisions they had made a vast number of decisionsapply tests to habían tomado decisiones
    • n.a.
    • donijeli su mnoštvo odluka they have made a lot of decisions
    • hanno preso un significativo numero di provvedimentiapply tests to preso provvedimenti
    • dostać połowę spadku to receive half of the heritageapply tests to dostać spadek receive heritage
      nie mieć cienia wątpliwości not to have a shadow of a doubt to have no doubtapply tests to mieć wątpliwość have a doubt
    • ele fez o restante do trabalho to make the remainder of the workapply tests to ele fez o trabalho he did the work
    • ei au luat o serie de importante decizii they have taken a series of important decisions they have made a series of important decisions

    Canonical form

    For a given (candidate) VMWE occurrence, if its prototypical forms exist and keep the same meaning, these forms are called canonical.

    • a canonical form for решението, което взеха is взема решение
      a canonical form for нанасяйки тежки щети is нанасям щети
    • a canonical form for das Herz welches er bricht the heart which he breaks is er bricht ihr das Herz he breaks her heart
      a canonical form for Wortbruch word-break a promise which has not been hold is Wort brechen to break the word not to hold a promise
    • a canonical form for αποφάσεις που δεν λαμβάνονται is λαμβάνουναπόφαση
      a canonical form for κάνοντάς του μεγάλη εντύπωση is (του) κάνει μεγάλη εντύπωση
    • a canonical form for the heart which he broke is he broke her heart
      a canonical form for making an impression on him is she makes an impression on him
    • a canonical form for una decisión nunca antes tomada a decision never before taken a decision never made before is ellos tomaron una decisión they took a decision they made a decision
    • a canonical form for une décision toujours prise a decision always taken is prend une décisionmakes a decision
    • a canonical form for odluka koju je donio the decision which he made is donijeti odluku to make a decision
    • a canonical form for una decisione sempre presa a decision always taken is prende una decisionemakes a decision
    • a canonical form for decyzje, które podjął decisions which he made is podjął decyzjęhe made a decision
    • a canonical form for decisão nunca antes tomada decision never before takendecision never made before is eu tomei uma decisãoI made a decision
    • a canonical form for decizia pe care el a luat-o is el aluat decizia
    • a canonical form for srca, ki ji je zlomil hearts which he has broken (people's) feelings which he hurt bad is zlomiti komu srce to break someone's heart to hurt someone's feelings bad
      a canonical form for njegov piskrček je bil pristavljen k nečemu his little pot was added to someting to join something in order to profit from it is pristaviti svoj piskrček k nečemu to add (one's) pot (to something) to join something in order to profit from it

    For some VMWEs, the only possible forms are not prototypical. For instance, some VMWEs appear in passive voice but never in active voice. If no prototypical form exists or does not preserve the meaning, the given occurrence is considered canonical itself.

    • броят ми се ребратаbe counted my ribsto be very skinny but not #броя си ребрата I can count my ribs
    • μου ανέβηκε το αίμα στο κεφάλι me was raised the blood to-the head I was very angry but not #μου ανέβασε το αίμα στο κεφάλι he raised me the blood to-the head
    • está todo el pescado vendido is_it all the fish sold it's all over bar the shouting but not #he vendido todo el pescado have_I sold all the fish I have sold all the fish
    • les carrotes sont cuites the carrots are cooked it's too late but not #j'ai cuit les carrotes I have cooked the carrots
    • kocka je bačena the dice have been thrown alea iacta est
    • il dado è tratto the dice has been cast the dice is cast
    • kości zostały rzuconethe dice have been thrownalea iacta est
    • vivendo e aprendendo living and learning live and learn but not #vivi e aprendi I-lived and I-learned I lived and I learned
    • zarurile au fost aruncate dice-the have been cast the die is cast but not cineva a aruncat zarurile someone has cast the dice someone has cast the die

    The linguistic tests for identification and categorization of VMWEs are always to be applied to a canonical form of the candidate VMWE. Note that, for brevity, many of the VMWE examples in these guidelines are given in their infinitive variants. Still, it is most often a canonical form that is implicitly meant.

    Non-verbal variants (not annotated)

    Expressions of the syntactic categories mentioned above are considered VMWEs only if they function as verb phrases (in prototypical forms) or nominal phrases (under meaning-preserving variants). Other kinds of variants are not considered VMWEs. This concerns nominalizations morphologically derived from verbs and describing a process, result, state, agent, etc.

    • вземане на решение making a decision
      удар в гърба a stab in the back
      високо вдигната летва highly raised bar high bar
      играч на карти card player
    • Wortbruch word-break a promise which has not been hold
    • η λήψη αποφάσεων the-FE.SG.NOM taking-FE.SG.NOM decisions-GE.PL.GEN deciding
    • a take-off
    • toma de decisiones taking of decisions decision making
      puesta a punto setting to point set-up
    • kontu-hartzea issue taking control (n)
    • la prise en compte the fact of taking into account'
      une mise à disposition the fact of making available
    • donošenje odluke the making of decision
    • la messa a disposizionethe made to availability the fact of making available
    • zabawa czyimś kosztem a play at someone else's expenses derived from bawić się czyimś kosztem to enjoy oneself at someone else's expenses
    • a tomada de decisão the making of decisions
      o tomador de decisão the decision-maker
    • luarea unei decizii take-noun.suffix a-genit decisionmaking a decision
    • zlomljeno srce broken heart

    We also do not annotate MWEs containing verbs but functioning as adverbials, adjectives or nominals that are not meaning-preserving variants:

    • може би (it) may be maybe
      разбира се (it) is understood of course
    • Vergiss-mein-nichtforget-me-notforget-me-not
    • τα πάρε-δώσε the.NE.PL.ACC give-2SG.IMP take-2SG.IMP relationship of some type
    • forget-me-not
      a run-down apartment
    • n.a.
    • izen-ematea name giving registration
    • peut-être may-be maybe
      porte-feuille carry-sheets wallet
      couru d'avance run in advance forgone conclusion
    • Bog daj God give hello, hi
    • non-ti-scordar-di-menot you forget-me-forget-me-not
    • zrobić coś za Bóg-zapłać do something for a God-pay to do something for free
    • um saca-rolhas a pull-corks a corkscrew
      um faz-de-conta a make-as-story a make-believe
    • treacă-meargă pass-golet it be

    Particular language teams may decide to extend the annotation scope to these variants. It is recommended in this case to introduce a new category for them (e.g. NVPC: nominal verb-particle constructions) so as to keep the (quasi-)universal categories intact.