Thematic Composition and Idiom Variation

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Abstract

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) has been studied to retrieve variant forms of semantically decomposable idioms that have no thematic composition for the purpose of determining whether thematic composition is a necessary criterion for idiom variation as claimed by Horn (2003). The syntactic variants searched for include passive, raising, tough-movement, relative clauses and wh-questions. Horn’s (2003) hypothesis is not fully confirmed, as some variation has been found.

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