These are the lexicalized word groups of the language. They are called “phraseological units” (PU) because of their polylexical form and single sense. They make up a heterogeneous group, with different degrees of frozenness. They are lexico-syntactic in nature.
The common characteristics of all PU are: polylexicality, (gradual) frozenness, repetition and institutionalization. The specific characteristics are of two types:
1) semantic: compositionality for collocations and non-compositionality (or idiomaticity) for locutions.
2) pragmatic: the pragmatems (or formulaic language) and the paroemias have their own discursive characteristics. The first ones are dialogical and the second ones 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