lexical item

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lexical +‎ item


lexical item (plural lexical items)

  1. (semantics) A term—word or a sequence of words—that acts as a unit of meaning, including words, phrases, phrasal verbs and proverbs, exemplified by cat, traffic light, take care of, by-the-way, and don't count your chickens before they hatch.
    • For quotations using this term, see Citations:lexical item.
    • 1993, Roman Kopytko, Polite Discourse in Shakespeare's English, page 396:
      He also realized that by comparing different types of text you may be able to spot "a different density ( repetition rate ) of lexical items, and different degrees of cohesion, in the short story and in the novel.
    • 1998, Edda Weigand, Contrastive Lexical Semantics, page 22:
      It is not surprising that this is a very common structure in language, because it allows the flexibility that was identified earlier in this paper as essential for an adequate lexical item.
    • 2007, Kristel Proost ·, Conceptual Structure in Lexical Items, page 114:
      The meaning of lexical items may be described in terms of combinations of semantic features.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “Setting the Record Straight: An In-depth Examination of Hobson-Jobson”, in International Journal of Lexicography, volume 31, number 4, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecy010, page 490:
      Thus there are 3751 lexical items covered in total. Taking into account polysemy, there are 4315 separate senses.


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