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Lexical encoding formats for multi-word expressions: The challenge of ``irregular'' regularities

Timm Lichte; Simon Petitjean; Agata Savary; Jakub Waszczuk

This chapter contributes a general overview and discussion of lexical encoding formats for multi-word expressions (MWEs) that can be used in NLP systems, in particular with large-scale grammars. The presentation is kept general in the sense that we will try to elicit basic aspects of lexical encoding and then elaborate on the specific sorts of challenges encountered when dealing with MWEs, especially the ``irregular'' regularities mentioned in the title. These insights will eventually be used to classify and evaluate different approaches to encoding. Even though this kind of evaluation cannot be conclusive given the diversity of languages and tastes, we will nevertheless argue in favor of fully flexible encoding formats exemplified with PATR-II and XMG, as opposed to the fixed encoding formats of DuELME and Walenty.

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