Chapter published in:Colouring Meaning: Collocation and connotation in figurative language
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 43] 2011
► pp. 15–33
chapter 2 Idioms and idiomaticity
This chapter introduces idioms and idiom-like features in phrases and collocations. There is no shortage of descriptions and classifications of idiom in the literature (see especially Makkai 1972; Fernando & Flavell 1982; Fernando 1996; Moon 1998), but most existing work is theoretical in nature and requires testing against the reality of idioms in use. The essential features that must be present in order to define a phrase as an idiom are outlined, and the notion of collocational harmony is introduced to explain how literal and non-literal meanings are perceived in text. On the basis of these features, the difference between idiomatic and non-idiomatic collocations is also explained. The chapter ends with a description and discussion of the data selected for inclusion in this study.