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1985) respectively to refer to degree modifiers as clause element adverbials. The use of the term ‘‘intensifier’’ by Quirk et al. (1985) can be attributed to the influence of Bolinger (1972). As it has been pointed out by Lorenz (1999), the use of this term has given rise to frequent misunderstanding, referring, as it does, to an adverbial class which not only comprises of ‘‘amplifiers’’ such as strongly, completely, or infinitely, but also ‘‘downtoners’’ such as rather, slightly or scarcely. The latter, of course, tend to have a lowering, mitigating effect on the meaning of their focus which is not really inferred, at the first sight, from the category label ‘‘intensifier’’.

17 Cowie (1994) divides word combinations into two main types: ‘‘composite’’ and ‘‘formulae’’. Formulae refers to the institutionalized expressions. Collocations belong to the group of composites. The distinction in the group of composites are made on the basis of two criteria, that is, the criterion of (transparency) and the criterion of (commutability). Thus, he distinguishes four types of combinations: ‘‘free combinations’’, ‘‘restricted collocations’’, ‘‘figurative idioms’’ and ‘‘pure idioms’’.

Benson, Benson and IIson (1990) advocate the view of non-separability of lexis and grammar. They divide collocations into grammatical (G) and lexical (L) collocations. Grammatical collocations usually consist of the main words (a noun, an adjective or a verb) plus a preposition or grammatical structure such as ‘to-infinitive’ or ‘that-clause’, and is characterized by eight basic types of collocations, the types are designated by G1, G2, etc. g. blockade against, apathy towards. g. it was a pleasure to do it.

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