Date: 05 Feb 2002

Multiword Expressions: A Pain in the Neck for NLP

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Abstract

Multiword expressions are a key problem for the development of large-scale, linguistically sound natural language processing technology. This paper surveys the problem and some currently available analytic techniques. The various kinds of multiword expressions should be analyzed in distinct ways, including listing “words with spaces”, hierarchically organized lexicons, restricted combinatoric rules, lexical selection, “idiomatic constructions” and simple statistical affinity. An adequate comprehensive analysis of multiword expressions must employ both symbolic and statistical techniques.