For example, these multi-word expressions or lexical units can be listed in their very basic forms on thefreedictionary.com:
leave one's mark
leave mark on
develop from someone
fight shy of
fight shy of something
be fighting shy of doing something
be out of one's shell
instead of any of their variations like the following:
leave his mark
left mark on
developed from a painfully shy girl
fighting shy of
fight shy of controversy
was fighting shy of cheating
is out of your shell
I know that they are not the idioms(as idioms may include possessive pronouns), stems(as stems include subwords), lemmas(as lemmas also include pronouns), or lexemes(also include pronouns; and 'is' and 'be' are two different lexemes) of their inflections or variations.
I wonder if such a very basic form has a terminology? I want to normalize the variations into their most basic units. Possessive pronouns should become forms like "one's" which cannot be further normalized.
This question was originally posted on ell.stackexchange.com here.