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A Corpus Based Approach to Near Synonymy of German Multi-Word Expressions

A Corpus Based Approach to Near Synonymy of German Multi-Word Expressions

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A Corpus Based Approach to Near Synonymy of German Multi-Word Expressions

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  1. A Corpus Based Approach to Near Synonymy of German Multi-Word Expressions Christiane Hümmer ‘Collocations in the Dictionary’ Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  2. ‘Collocations in the Dictionary’ • funded by the Alexander v. Humboldt foundation (Wolfgang Paul Award) • headed by Christiane Fellbaum • project coordinators: Alexander Geyken, Wolfgang Klein • project members: Christian Chiarcos, Christiane Fritze, Bryan Jurish, Undine Kramer, Kerstin Krell, Gerald Neumann, Patrick Hanks, Christiane Hümmer, Alexey Sokirko, Diana Stantcheva, Ekaterini Stathi, Irena Vassileva, Ralf Wolz • corpus based investigation on German verbal idioms • http://www.bbaw.de/forschung/kollokationen/index.html Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  3. The Corpus • DWDS Corpus • constructed as part of the project ‘Digital Dictionary of German of the 20th Century’ • located at Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences • 980 million words • covering the whole 20th century • www.dwds.de Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  4. Introduction to the Subject • Corpus based approach to Synonymy of Multi-Word Expressions (MWE) • for each MWE, describe the context conditions as found in the corpus • state the degree of semantic distance in terms of converging or diverging context conditions • state fine-grained differences in maximally similar contexts Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  5. etw. liegt jmdm. im Blut ‘sth. lies in sb.´s blood’ FrameNet based Frame Elements: PROPERTY- PROTAGONIST etw. ist jmdm. in die Wiege gelegt ‘sth. was put in sb.´s cradle’ FrameNet based Frame Elements: THEME-RECIPIENT- (DONOR) A Case Study Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  6. Convergence I Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  7. Convergence I Auch steckteJason Gebertvom Vater hereine Freude an schönen und aparten Farben [...] im Blut Hermann, Georg , Jettchen Gebert, [1906] ‘Also,taking pleasure in beautiful colours [...] was in Jason Gebert’s blood as an inheritance from his father’ Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  8. Convergence II Angeblich sind uns die VorliebenfürbestimmteEissortenin die Wiege gelegt. Süddeutsche Zeitung [1999] ‘reportedly, the predilections for certain flavours of ice-creamhave been put inourcradle’ Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  9. Convergence III Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  10. Summary Convergence • etw. ist jmdm. in die Wiege gelegt inZustandspassiv • etw. liegt jmdm. im Blut realised withan additional semantic argument expressing a SOURCE or DONOR • for lexical items in THEME or PROPERTY position, interpretable as FACULTY/INCLINATION/ATTITUDE Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  11. Divergence I Eltern und Erzieher haben ihnendas Erfolgsdenkenin die Wiege gelegt Süddeutsche Zeitung [1995] ‘parents and educators have put success oriented thinking into their cradle’ Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  12. Divergence II "Beim gegenwärtigen Stand in Deutschland wird jedem Neugeboreneneine Schuld in Höhe von 27 000 Markin die Wiege gelegt", sagte Faltlhauser. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH 2000 ‘”as things are now in Germany, a debt of 27,000 marksis put in the cradle of every new born baby”, said Faltlhauser’ Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  13. Summary-Divergence • realisation of etw. ist jmdm. in die Wiege gelegt in the active voice with DONOR as an agent • mutually incompatible semantic class of lexical items in THEME and PROPERTY position Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  14. Conditions of Semantic Difference semantic closeness or distance determined by: • presence or absence of certain semantic arguments • semantic and syntactic role they play in the sentence • semantic class of the lexical items that realise them Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  15. Subtle Meaning Differences • typical modifications hint at characteristic semantic traits: • tief (‘deep’) (etw. liegt jmdm. im Blut) • schon (‘already’) (etw. ist jmdm. in die Wiege gelegt) • national group as a typical PROTAGONIST of etw. liegt jmdm. im Blut: die Deutschen (‘Germans’) (x10), die Schweizer (‘Swiss’) (x2), Neger (‘Negroes’) (x2) Indianer (‘Indians’), Latinos (x2), Juden (‘Jews’) (x3), Briten (‘British’) (x2), Südländer (‘Southerners’) etc. Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  16. Conclusion I • degree of synonymity of the two idioms in use is proportional to the degree of overlap of possible contexts • subtle semantic differences are present and observable on the basis of corpus data even in contexts where the expressions are maximally synonymous Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004

  17. Conclusion II • establish a synonymy scale • discuss the concept of interchangeability • show how corpus evidence reflects meaning as a property of the lexical item Christiane Hümmer GWN Conference 2004