Towards a grammar of preposition-noun combinations
Preposition-noun combinations (PNCs) are compositional and productive, but not fully regular. In school grammars and many theoretical approaches, PNCs are neglected, but they have recently been addressed in an HPSG analysis by Baldwin et al. (2006). After discussing some basic properties of PNCs, we show that statistical methods can be employed to prove that PNCs are indeed productive and compositional, which again implies that PNCs should receive a syntactic analysis. Such an analysis, however, is impeded by the limited regularity of the construction. We will point out why adding semantic conditions to syntactic schemata might be necessary but not sufficient and turn then to a framework which allows the derivation of syntactic (and semantic) generalizations from linguistic data without taking recourse to introspective judgments.