Scríobh Tim Finney <[log in to unmask]>:
>> If forced to
>> define a meaning unit, I would say in my ignorance that it's a
>> sequence
>> of words that functions as a part of speech; a verb-, adverb-,
>> noun-,
>> adjective-, preposition-, conjunction-, or interjection-like group
>> of
>> words.
>> Now to the point.
>> 1. (Off topic.) For the linguists, what is the right term for the
>> meaning unit thingy? A reference to a standard work would be much
>> appreciated. I found this, which might be what I'm after but I don't
>> know:
> uent.htm

Yes, constituent is a good choice. A particular type of constituent 
called a phrase might be an even better choice if you're dealing with 
multi-word units that act like nouns, adjectives, adverbs and so on. 
Those would be called noun phrases, adjectival phrases, adverbial 
phrases. Pretty much any introduction to syntax is bound to talk about 
phrases a lot.

Be aware, though, that phrases are units of syntax, whereas the units of 
meaning you are talking about probably belong more in the realm of 
semantics. So there doesn't always have to be a one-to-one 
correspondence between your units of meaning and phrases.


Michal Boleslav Mechura,
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