Journal article Open Access

The semantic and syntactic ingredients of Greek dish names: Are compounds a main choice?

Stella Markantonatou; Katerina Toraki; Vivian Stamou; George Pavlidis

The syntactic and semantic analyses of 2,500 dish names retrieved from 112 restaurant, tavern, and patisserie menus in Eastern Macedonia and in Thrace in Northern Greece show that only a small number of concepts are denoted by the heads of these noun phrases (NPs): Main Ingredient (MI) of a dish, Way of preparation, Part or Cuts (for MIs with an animal as a source), and the word “portion.” Seventy percent of the dish names are headed by a noun denoting the MI or the Way of preparation in which case the MI is introduced by a modifier of the head. Syntactically, these are mostly normal Modern Greek NPs, although NPs consisting of adjacent nouns offer fertile grounds for discussing aspects of compound formation in this language. This study has instructed the structuring of a knowledge base aimed to support applications in gastronomic tourism (menu translation, provision of gastronomic, dietary, and cultural information about the foods).

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