Idioms, collocations, and structure

Syntactic constraints on conventionalized expressions

Abstract

Phrasal idioms have been used as evidence in syntactic theorizing for decades. A common assumption, occasionally made explicit (e.g., Larson 2017), is that non-literal phrasal idioms differ significantly from completely literal collocations in the kinds of syntactic structures they can be built from. I show with a detailed empirical study that this is false. In fact, the syntactic constraints on idioms and collocations are identical. In particular, patterns that are missing from one are missing from the other, most strikingly ditransitives with a fixed first object and open second object (*throw the wolves X). Idioms and collocations should therefore be treated the same, as a broad class of conventionalized expressions. I propose a new analysis of the syntactic forms that conventionalized expressions can take. Unlike most previous analyses, I take the open slots to be part of the expression, and the task then becomes to explain the distribution of the open slots. A structural constraint on open slots accounts for the missing ditransitive pattern. It also explains why expressions with a fixed subject but open object are rare, but also why certain examples of this pattern do exist in English and in other languages.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Some idioms with open slots for possessors require that the possessor be identical to the subject, while others require disjointness. I indicate this throughout this paper with the variables X and Y.

  2. 2.

    Note that this seems to be the definition of idiom in Weinreich (1969).

  3. 3.

    Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=374dTEMGii0.

  4. 4.

    Available at https://math.mit.edu/texttildelowrbm/papers/anulec/anulec.pdf.

  5. 5.

    Larson (2017:note 15) also claims that book titles can be non-constituents, citing data from a 2008 Language Log post by Geoffrey Pullum (http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/myl/languagelog/archives/005333.html). This is supposed to show that formulaic language more broadly is subject to no syntactic constraints whatsoever. However, the point of that Language Log post is how rare non-constituent titles are and how strained they often feel (many also appear to me to be elliptical). I conclude, with Pullum, that these titles show nothing about the syntactic constraints that conventionalized expressions are subject to.

  6. 6.

    A reviewer points out that be dragged kicking and screaming can also occur as an active, as drag X kicking and screaming. This is true of the majority of the expressions here, both literal and non-literal: they can appear in different syntactic permutations. I list them in the form that my sources do.

  7. 7.

    The expression the X-er, the Y-er could also be put into this category (Fillmore et al. 1988; den Dikken 2005). This expression comes in two forms: it can have two open slots which can be filled in extemporaneously (e.g., the more you eat, the hungrier you get), and it also occurs in several fixed expressions (e.g., the more, the merrier; the bigger they come, the harder they fall). Another expression that could be put into this category is long time, no see, which consists of two fully specified clauses in juxtaposition. If these are not to be viewed as conditionals, then they would just be examples of two clauses put together (two instances of pattern 8).

  8. 8.

    Just as there is no legitimate distinction between idioms and collocations, I believe that there is also no evidence for distinctions that people have made within the class of idioms. Nunberg et al. (1994) and numerous publications that follow them make a distinction between “idiomatically combining expressions” and “idiomatic phrases,” but this distinction has been called into question by Abeillé (1995), Everaert (2010), Bargmann and Sailer (2018). Similarly, Lebeaux (2009) argues for a distinction in determiner types in idioms, but Fellbaum (1993) and Bruening et al. (2018) show that this distinction is not real. Stone (2016) claims that there is a distinction in how much VP structure idioms have, and this correlates with how flexible they are; but syntactic flexibility has been shown to be largely a matter of pragmatics, see again Bargmann and Sailer (2018). The available evidence indicates that we only need to recognize a single category of conventionalized expression, with no sub-categories.

  9. 9.

    Expressions like too many cooks spoil the broth are sometimes dismissed as proverbs rather than idioms. It is unclear why they should be, when the shit hit the fan is always discussed in the syntactic literature as a syntactically relevant idiom. Too many cooks spoil the broth participates in all the syntactic alternations that the shit hit the fan does, for instance raising: Too many cooks always seem to spoil the broth.

  10. 10.

    A reviewer suggest that the expression give me X (any day/time) is an example of this pattern (e.g., Give me a good beer any day!). However, every native speaker that I have asked (n = 7) would permit a different NP in place of me, for instance, My father doesn’t like any of those fancy-schmancy cocktails, give him a good beer any day! This expression does overwhelmingly occur with me, but this seems to be due to the confluence of it expressing a strong personal preference and its imperative mood (compare X will take Y any day/time, which is synonymous but not imperative, and easily allows a non-first-person subject).

  11. 11.

    A reviewer contends that in give hostages to fortune, hostages to fortune is a single NP. It is true that hostages to fortune occurs as an NP by itself (e.g., “But my two little hostages to fortune cut off that chance.”) However, attested usage with give clearly indicates that in that expression, hostages and to fortune are not a constituent: “Hers had been a butterfly existence, life all one Summer holiday, no hostages given to fortune, no bond taken against future wreck or change.” (Bidwell’s Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison by Austin Biron Bidwell.) Even where they occur together and could be a constituent, analyzing them that way would mean that give is being used with only one object, which would be very odd. No English speaker would analyze the PP as part of the NP after give, they would all analyze this as an NP and a PP argument of give.

  12. 12.

    Available at http://www.thejournalist.org.za/spotlight/we-love-uct-says-student-who-covered-rhodes-in-shit.

  13. 13.

    Available at http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?42550-OT-9-11-Truth-Symposium/page5.

  14. 14.

    I should note here that the problem with the selection theory is the constraint in (97)/(100), not the idea that idioms involve chains of selection. The open slots never introduce discontinuities in selection (or dependencies). The open slots are always either the lowest complement or a left branch (see the summary in Sect. 6.3). This means that the selection (Bruening 2010) and dependency (O’Grady 1998) theories could still be correct, it is only the constraint in (97)/(100) that needs to be replaced with something like the constraint proposed here.

  15. 15.

    I am aware of three potentially problematic examples. Two of these are the close synonyms X’s late, lamented Y and X’s dear departed Y. These seem to be NPs which have an open slot just for the head N. On closer inspection, however, there is reason to think that these do not have the structure of simple NP. The head N can be a proper name, for instance, with a definite determiner rather than a possessor: the late, lamented John Smith. The adjectives are not interpreted restrictively, but are rather non-restrictive. The dear departed can also occur by itself as an NP, with no other noun. I suggest that the pair of adjectives in both cases forms a full phrase, and that phrase modifies another full NP appositively. The latter full NP is then what is an open slot.

    The third potentially problematic example is every single X, which seems to consist of a determiner and an adjective with an open slot for a head N. This example is unlikely to involve apposition. It is also problematic for the selection and dependency theories, unless one could maintain that every and single are involved in a direct (selectional) dependency, excluding the open N. This move would also save the current theory, since then the conventionalized XP would just be the phrase every single, and not an NP at all. I will have to put this example aside for now.

  16. 16.

    Note that when a conventionalized expression is used, an open slot can be filled in with something that is bound, as in you have to cut yourself some slack. Since the open slots are truly open, an NP of any type can be inserted there, including a bound one. This is very different from elements that are specified as part of the expression that they form a binding pair.

  17. 17.

    Hallman (2015) claims that there is a syntactic difference between caused possession PPs and locational PPs in their ability to control into non-subject-gap purpose clauses, but this is false. Locational PPs can control into purpose clauses, contra Hallman (thanks to Larson Stromdahl for discussion and examples):

    1. (i)
      1. a.

        I put it beside her1 [PRO1 to look over when she got the chance].

      2. b.

        I set it in front of her1 [PRO1 to sign].

      3. c.

        (What did you do with the microprocessor?) We inserted it in him1 [PRO1 to track himself1 with].

    Hallman also claims that the purported difference in the ability to control is due to a difference in c-command. However, c-command is not required at all for non-subject-gap purpose clauses, as Whelpton (2002) showed. The possessor of the object of a locational P can also control into a purpose clause (these examples are also from Larson Stromdahl):

    1. (ii)
      1. a.

        I put it in her1 mailbox [PRO1 to look over when she returned from the Bahamas].

      2. b.

        I threw it into his1 cell [PRO1 to eat after his trial].

    Hallman’s claimed differences between the two types of PPs have no empirical basis, then.

  18. 18.

    Briefly, derivational analyses like that of Larson (2014) and Hallman (2015) fail because they cannot rule out the missing double object pattern without also ruling out the corresponding prepositional dative one (throw X to the wolves). Small clause analyses like that of Harley and Jung (2015) fail because they have no piece of structure in common between the double object structure and the prepositional dative; they therefore cannot account for alternating expressions.

  19. 19.

    An interesting case is as best X can, which is an adjunct clause. It attaches to a matrix clause, the subject of which binds the embedded subject X. It also has VP ellipsis in the embedded clause, where the missing VP is understood as having the matrix VP as its antecedent (e.g., she will have to write the proposal as best she can). Hence every variable is bound.

  20. 20.

    The same reviewer also suggests the spirit moves X and I could murder X. The former does not seem to be a conventionalized expression in that form, as the majority of examples I can find lack a direct object. I do find if/when the spirit moves you, but the object of this expression seems to be limited to you. As for I could murder X, it seems to occur with any subject. I find numerous examples of first and second person.

  21. 21.

    This expression must actually be a full main clause with an embedded clause, since the subject of the passive is a variable bound by the subject of the matrix clause: [[PROx given time] NPx ZP]. It then has an open slot for some kind of clausal phrase (ZP), one that can be a VP up to a ModalP (given time, they would have caught the discrepancy).

  22. 22.

    Mishani-Uval and Siloni (2017) criticize the selection theory of Bruening (2010) for incorrectly predicting the existence of double object idioms with both NP objects fixed. The current proposal also predicts that such conventionalized expressions are possible. This is an odd criticism for Mishani-Uval and Siloni (2017) to make, however, given that they present three examples of Hebrew idioms that confirm the prediction. The pattern does exist, in Hebrew and English at least (but apparently not Korean). Any adequate theory will have to allow for it.

  23. 23.

    Andrew Murphy (p.c.) points out that obligatorily negative conventionalized expressions can occur with NEG raising, as in I don’t think he has a pot to piss in. If NEG is a specified part of the expression, then this would necessitate a movement derivation of NEG raising, as in Collins and Postal (2014). If negative conventionalized expressions are instead negative polarity items, then it would not.

References

  1. Abeillé, Anne. 1995. The flexibility of French idioms: A representation with lexicalized Tree Adjoining Grammar. In Idioms: Structural and psychological perspectives, eds. Martin Everaert, Erik-Jan van der Linden, André Schenk, and Rob Schreuder, 15–42. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bach, Emmon. 1974. Syntactic theory. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Baker, Mark C. 2014. On dependent ergative case (in Shipibo) and its derivation by phase. Linguistic Inquiry 45: 341–379.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Baker, Mark C., and Nadya Vinokurova. 2010. Two modalities of case assignment in Sakha. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28: 593–642.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Baltin, Mark R. 1989. Heads and projections. In Alternative conceptions of phrase structure, eds. Mark R. Baltin and Anthony S. Kroch, 1–16. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bargmann, Sascha, and Manfred Sailer. 2018. The syntactic flexibility of semantically non-decomposable idioms. In Multiword expressions: Insights from a multi-lingual perspective, eds. Manfred Sailer and Stella Markantonatou, 1–29. Berlin: Language Science Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Barss, Andrew, and Howard Lasnik. 1986. A note on anaphora and double objects. Linguistic Inquiry 17: 347–354.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bresnan, Joan. 1982. Control and complementation. Linguistic Inquiry 13: 343–434.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bruening, Benjamin. 2001. QR obeys superiority: Frozen scope and ACD. Linguistic Inquiry 32: 233–273.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bruening, Benjamin. 2010. Ditransitive asymmetries and a theory of idiom formation. Linguistic Inquiry 41: 519–562.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bruening, Benjamin. 2013. By-phrases in passives and nominals. Syntax 16: 1–41.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Bruening, Benjamin. 2014a. Precede-and-command revisited. Language 90: 342–388.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Bruening, Benjamin. 2014b. Word formation is syntactic: Adjectival passives in English. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32: 363–422.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Bruening, Benjamin. 2017. Syntactic constraints on idioms (do not include locality). In A pesky set: Papers for David Pesetsky, eds. Claire Halpert, Hadas Kotek, and Coppe van Urk. Cambridge: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Bruening, Benjamin. 2018. Double object constructions and prepositional dative constructions are distinct: A reply to Ormazabal and Romero 2012. Linguistic Inquiry 49: 123–150.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Bruening, Benjamin, Xuyen Dinh, and Lan Kim. 2018. Selection, idioms, and the structure of nominal phrases with and without classifiers. Glossa 3: 1–46. doi: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.288.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Chomsky, Noam. 2000. Minimalist inquiries: The framework. In Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, eds. Roger Martin, David Michaels, and Juan Uriagereka, 89–155. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Chtareva, Angelina. 2004. Experiencer analysis of subject idioms in Russian. In Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics (FASL) 13: The South Carolina meeting 2004, eds. Steven Franks, Frank Y. Gladney, and Mila Tasseva-Kurktchieva, 80–92. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Collins, Chris, and Paul M. Postal. 2014. Classical NEG raising. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. den Dikken, Marcel. 2005. Comparative correlatives comparatively. Linguistic Inquiry 36: 497–532.

    Google Scholar 

  21. É. Kiss, Katalin. 1987. Is the VP universal? In Approaches to Hungarian 2: Theories and analyses, ed. István Kenesei, 13–85. Szeged: JATE.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Ernst, Thomas. 1981. Grist for the linguistic mill: Idioms and “extra” adjectives. Journal of Linguistic Research 1: 51–68.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Everaert, Martin. 2010. The lexical encoding of idioms. In Lexical semantics, syntax, and event structure, eds. Malka Rappaport Hovav, Edit Doron, and Ivy Sichel, 76–98. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Everaert, Martin, and Koenraad Kuiper. 1997. Theory and data in idiom research. In Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) 32: The parasession on theory and data in linguistics, 43–57. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Fellbaum, Christiane. 1993. The determiner in English idioms. In Idioms: Processing, structure, and interpretation, eds. Cristina Cacciari and Patrizia Tabossi, 271–295. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Fillmore, Charles J., Paul Kay, and Mary Catherine O’Connor. 1988. Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions. Language 64: 501–538.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Gazdar, Gerald, Ewan Klein, Geoffrey Pullum, and Ivan Sag. 1985. Generalized phrase structure grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Green, Georgia M. 1974. Semantics and syntactic regularity. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Hallman, Peter. 2015. Syntactic neutralization in double object constructions. Linguistic Inquiry 46: 389–424.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Harley, Heidi. 2002. Possession and the double object construction. Yearbook of Linguistic Variation 2: 29–68.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Harley, Heidi, and Hyun Kyoung Jung. 2015. In support of the PHAVE analysis of the double object construction. Linguistic Inquiry 46: 703–730.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Harley, Heidi, and Megan Schildmier Stone. 2013. The ‘no agent idioms’ hypothesis. In Syntax and its limits, eds. Raffaella Folli, Christina Sevdali, and Robert Truswell, 251–275. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Horvath, Julia, and Tal Siloni. 2002. Against the little-v hypothesis. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa 27: 107–122.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Janke, Vikki, and Ad Neeleman. 2012. Ascending and descending VPs in English. Linguistic Inquiry 43: 151–190.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Kim, Lan. 2015. Asymmetric ditransitive constructions: Evidence from Korean. Lingua 165: 28–69.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Koopman, Hilda, and Dominique Sportiche. 1991. The position of subjects. Lingua 85: 211–258.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In Phrase structure and the lexicon, eds. John Rooryck and Laurie Zaring, 109–137. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Larson, Richard K. 1988. On the double object construction. Linguistic Inquiry 19: 335–391.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Larson, Richard K. 2014. On shell structure. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Larson, Richard K. 2017. On “dative idioms” in English. Linguistic Inquiry 48: 389–426.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Lebeaux, David. 2009. Where does binding theory apply? Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Lee, Ju-Eun. 2017. On ditransitive idioms: With respect to Korean, Hebrew, and English. Language Research 53: 59–101.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Lichte, Timm, and Laura Kallmeyer. 2016. Same syntax, different semantics: A compositional approach to idiomaticity in multi-word expressions. In Empirical issues in syntax and semantics 11, ed. Christopher Piñón, 111–140. Available at http://www.cssp.cnrs.fr/eiss11/. Accessed 13 April 2019.

  44. Marantz, Alec. 1984. On the nature of grammatical relations. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Marantz, Alec. 1991. Case and licensing. In Eighth Eastern States Conference on Linguistics (ESCOL), eds. Germán F. Westphal, Benjamin Ao, and Hee-Rahk Chae, 234–253. Ithaca: Cornell University, CLC Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Marantz, Alec. 1993. Implications of asymmetries in double object constructions. In Theoretical aspects of Bantu grammar, ed. Sam A. Mchombo, 113–150. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Marantz, Alec. 1997. No escape from syntax: Don’t try morphological analysis in the privacy of your own lexicon. In 21st Penn Linguistics Colloquium (PLC), eds. Alexis Dimitriadis, Laura Siegel, Clarissa Surek-Clark, and Alexander Williams. Penn working papers in linguistics, 201–225. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

    Google Scholar 

  48. McCawley, James D. 1998. The syntactic phenomena of English, 2nd edn. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  49. McGlone, Matthew S., Sam Glucksberg, and Cristina Cacciari. 1994. Semantic productivity and idiom comprehension. Discourse Processes 17: 167–190.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Mishani-Uval, Yael, and Tal Siloni. 2017. Ditransitive idioms in Hebrew. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 35: 715–749.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Miyagawa, Shigeru, and Takae Tsujioka. 2004. Argument structure and ditransitive verbs in Japanese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 13: 1–38.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Nicolas, Tim. 1995. Semantics of idiom modification. In Idioms: Structural and psychological perspectives, eds. Martin Everaert, Erik-Jan van der Linden, André Schenk, and Rob Schreuder, 233–252. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Nunberg, Geoffrey, Ivan A. Sag, and Thomas Wasow. 1994. Idioms. Language 70: 491–538.

    Google Scholar 

  54. O’Grady, William. 1998. The syntax of idioms. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 16: 279–312.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Osborne, Timothy, Michael Putnam, and Thomas M. Gross. 2012. Catenae: Introducing a novel unit of syntactic analysis. Syntax 15: 354–396.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Penka, Doris. 2012. Split scope of negative indefinites. Language and Linguistics Compass 6: 517–532.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Pesetsky, David. 1995. Zero syntax: Experiencers and cascades. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Pollard, Carl, and Ivan A. Sag. 1994. Head-driven phrase structure grammar. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Postal, Paul M. 2004. Skeptical linguistic essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Rappaport Hovav, Malka, and Beth Levin. 2008. The English dative alternation: The case for verb sensitivity. Journal of Linguistics 44: 129–167.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Reis, Marga. 1982. Zum subjektbegriff im deutschen. In Satzglieder im deutschen: Vorschläge zur syntaktischen, semantischen und pragmatischen fundierung, ed. Werner Abraham, 171–211. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Richards, Norvin. 2001. An idiomatic argument for lexical decomposition. Linguistic Inquiry 32: 183–192.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Richter, Frank, and Manfred Sailer. 2009. Phraseological clauses in constructional HPSG. In 16th international conference on head-driven phrase structure grammar, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, ed. Stefan Müller, 297–317. Available at http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/HPSG/2009/richter-sailer.pdf. Accessed 13 April 2019.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Riehemann, Susanne Z. 2001. A constructional approach to idioms and word formation. PhD diss., Stanford University.

  65. Ruwet, Nicolas. 1991. On the use and abuse of idioms in syntactic argumentation. In Syntax and human experience, eds. Nicolas Ruwet and John A. Goldsmith, 171–251. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Schenk, André. 1995. The syntactic behavior of idioms. In Idioms: Structural and psychological perspectives, eds. Martin Everaert, Erik-Jan van der Linden, André Schenk, and Rob Schreuder, 253–271. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Sternefeld, Wolfgang. 1985. On case and binding theory. In Studies in German grammar, ed. Jindrich Toman, 231–285. Dordrecht: Foris.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Stone, Megan Schildmier. 2016. The difference between bucket-kicking and kicking the bucket: Understanding idiom flexibility. PhD diss., University of Arizona.

  69. Svenonius, Peter. 2005. Extending the extension condition to discontinuous idioms. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 5: 227–263.

    Google Scholar 

  70. van Gestel, Frank. 1995. En bloc insertion. In Idioms: Structural and psychological perspectives, eds. Martin Everaert, Erik-Jan van der Linden, André Schenk, and Rob Schreuder, 75–96. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Webelhuth, Gert, and Farrell Ackerman. 1994. German idioms: An empirical approach. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 24: 455–471.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Weinreich, Uriel. 1969. Problems in the analysis of idioms. In Substance and structure of language, ed. Jaan Puhvel, 23–81. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Whelpton, Matthew. 2002. Locality and control with infinitives of result. Natural Language Semantics 10: 167–210.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

For helpful comments, the author would like to thank Andrew Murphy, the anonymous NLLT reviewers, and the associate editor, Amy Rose Deal.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Benjamin Bruening.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bruening, B. Idioms, collocations, and structure. Nat Lang Linguist Theory 38, 365–424 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11049-019-09451-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Idioms
  • Collocations
  • Ditransitives
  • Double object constructions