Multiword Expression Reading Group

    30 Oct, 2001
    Review some of Ann's comments, tidy up loose ends with respect to the definition

    • Suggested alternative implementation-oriented version of MWE definition: A multiword expression is anything that isn't already in the ERG and which we can't expect to capture through statistical means
    • Response of Francis Bond to question of whether the universe is a MWE:

      with respect to "the Universe" I don't think it qualifies as a MWE because:
      1. You do actually get "a universe" a lot:
        • A universe full of life?
        • A universe of possibilities
        • If we live in a high-density, or "closed," universe, then mutual gravitational attraction will ultimately halt the universe's expansion, causing it to contract--culminating in a big crunch, followed perhaps by reexpansion. If, on the other hand, we live in a low-density, or "open," universe, then the universe will expand forever.
        • In such a universe, the density is just right.
        You also get "universes"
        • Simegen-AU Simegen is a list for discussing Simegen fandom and what if scenarios for alternate universes set in Sime~Gen tm Universe Sinc,
        • Rotating Universes and Time Travelling
        You can even get both: A Universe of Universes
      2. You get "the universe" exactly when you expect: when it is used to refer to a unique locatable referent. It is a fact about the world we inhabit that the thing denoted by "universe" is generally considered to be unique and locatable in discourse from general knowledge. An adequate theory of reference, combined with perfect world knowledge etc should get this right all the time.

      Pretty much the same goes for "the sun", which of course would not be all that common if we were orbiting a binary star.

Last modified: Thu Aug 21 12:44:29 PDT 2003