I've been reading this article about linguistic idiomaticity, and there's a good research on English idioms and indirect speech, in general.
I've been thinking on different amounts of idiomaticity in various languages. I haven't seen any academic researches that would compare languages side-by-side, but my naive assumption was the following:
Isolating languages have fewer amount of stems (usually limited by phonetics), so they should expose higher amount of idiomaticity.
Synthetic ones naturally have broader morphology, so there should be higher chance finding special words for individual terms, therefore, lower amount of idiomaticity.
There are lots of examples proving this assumption. However, there are exceptions that confuse me:
English: yesterday; it has a complicated etymology, but generally it's a single term nowadays, matches the rule
Ukrainian: вчора - single term, matches the rule
Thai: เมื่อวานนี้, literally
at the time+
this, idiomatic term, matches the rule
Chinese: 昨 - single term, does not match the rule
Chinese: 多少, lit.
a few, idiomatic term, matches the rule;
Thai: เท่าไหร่, lit.
what- idiomatic term, matches the rule;
Ukrainian: скільки - a single term, matches the rule;
English: "How much" - idiomatic term, does not match the rule
Hence, the question: is there any pattern on how various languages expose idiomaticity and indirection? I'm also wondering if there's any academic research on this matter.