The brunch of linguistics dealing with phraseological units is called phraseology. This field of study in E linguistics is recent, terminology is not yet fixed, opinions differ. Idioms or phr units – one of the most important and diffic constituent part of the E lang. Features: they are ready-made units; they are characterised by stability of grammatical structure and lex components; they are idiomatic, transferred; they are colourful, expressive, stylistically marked. Phr units are comparatively stable and semantically inseparable. The essential features of phr units are stability of the lex components and lack of motivation. they function as 1 member of the sentence.
The debatable problems:the problem of the adequate term and its definition. The definition is felt to be inadequate as the concept ready- made units seems to be rather vague. the problem of the lang. material which is reflected to phraseology ( narrow and wide approaches in phraseology:Now many scholars expand a wide approach to phraseology and they include in the phr sentence idioms, proverbs, saying, clause idioms). .the problem of the classification of the lang. material (classification of Vinogradova: Phraseological fusions(сращения) are completely non-motivated word-groups, such as; kick the bucket — ‘die’; and the like. The meaning of the components has no connections whatsoever, at least synchronically, with the meaning of the whole group. Phr unities are partially non-motivated as their meaning can usually be perceived through the metaphoric meaning of the whole phr unit. For EG: to skate of thin ice – рисковать; Phr collocations are motivated but they are made up of words possessing specific lex valency which accounts for a certain degree of stability in such word-groups. In phr collocations variability of member-words is strictly limited. We can say take a liking (fancy) but not take hatred (disgust).) Idiom – unique, refers to speech typical of people or place (dialect). Expression – stable word-group with a partially transferred meaning; unique to a lang, esp if sence is not predictable from the meaning of elements (??the bed had not been slept in???). Collocation – habitual association between particular words. They are not transferred. (heavy traffic, white coffee,). Cliché - stereotyped expression, common-plase phrase (the fair sex,). Proverb- short traditional saying of a didactic nature (a stick in time saves nine),. Sayings - concise observation that expresses fock, wisdom.(time flies, honesty is…) Lexical phrases- institutional expressions (how do u do, as I was saying); Cunin’s class: 1) one-summit unit (at large, by the way); 2) phr units with the struct of coordinate or subordinate word groups (safe&sound, with high&main; to pull smb’s leg,); 3) structures with imbedded clause – a lexem and a clause idioms (ships that passed in the night); 4) clause-idioms (when pigs fly); 5) nominative-communicative (to break the ice,); 6) communicative type (sentence idioms), proverbs and sayings (if u run after 2 hairs u will catch none); 7) interjectional phrases (by George, oh God!)