Light Verb Constructions in Lithuanian: Identification and Classification
Light verb constructions (LVCs) are verb-noun constructions in which the noun carries the semantic meaning and the verb is semantically reduced, when compared with its main meaning, for example, atlikti analizę (‘to perform an analysis’). LVCs in Lithuanian have not been addressed much so far. The analysis of Lithuanian LVCs was carried out as a part of the PARSEME project on verbal identification of multiword expressions (MWE). This paper aims at presenting some initial findings on the identification of LVCs in Lithuanian, based on the 1st edition of the PARSEME shared-task results (2017). We describe the identification process according to the semantic and syntactic features of LVCs (PARSEME guidelines 1.0 2017) and discuss the grammatical features of the identified Lithuanian LVCs.
LVCs seem to be less frequent in Lithuanian than in other languages: they make up about 0.2% (215 instances) of the analysed 200,000 token corpus. Based on the number of different LVCs, there seem to be two groups of verbs functioning as light verbs: a relatively small group of common light verbs used in the most prototypical examples of Lithuanian LVCs (e.g., vykdyti ‘to perform’, atlikti ‘to perform’, daryti ‘to do’, and turėti ‘to have’) and a larger group of less common light verbs. Most of the nouns in analysed LVCs have suffixes -imas and -ymas, which are the most typical Lithuanian suffixes for deriving a noun from a verb. Almost 40% of all LVCs are used with 1–3 words intervening between a verb and a noun.