Phraseological units are the lexicalized word groups of the language. They are called “phraseological units” (PU) because of their polylexical form and single meaning. They make up a heterogeneous group, with different degrees of frozenness and are lexico-syntactic in nature.
The characteristics common for all PU are: polylexicality, (gradual) frozenness, repetition and institutionalization. There are also two types of specific characteristics:
- semantic: compositionality for collocations and non-compositionality (or idiomaticity) for locutions.
- pragmatic: the pragmatems (or formulaic language) and the paroemias have their own discursive characteristics. The first are dialogical while the latter have a gnomic and quotation value
The PU can be classified into two categories:
- Phraseological statements: a) pragmatems; b) paroemias
- Phraseological syntagmas: a) locutions; b) collocations