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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Words relate to their neighbours in a variety of ways. When we construct an utterance, or interpret the utterances of others, we subconsciously note the collocations that a word on its own makes with other words, as well as the collocations that the combination has with other words or word combinations. We also note the syntactic environments of words and word combinations (i.e. their colligations) and their association with words of particular semantic sets. Parts of words also participate in these kinds of relation. Thus, a word can be said to prime the contexts of its previous uses. These primings influence the way we interpret a word in context as well as our future uses of the word; moreover, collocation contributes to textual cohesion. The relation of a word to its neighbours thus lies at the very core of a language and its use.

Keywords: collocation, colligation, semantic set, priming, cohesion

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