The Phrase search function is designed in such as way as to allow users to search for terms containing multiple lexical items, or for strings occurring within lexical items. In using this search function, it is useful to bear in mind that a space entered in the search field will be treated as a character.
A simple illustration of the function is a search for a multiword expression such as diaidh ar ndiaidh. Results of this search will correspond exactly to the term entered, and therefore results will not include spelling variants such as diaigh ar ndiaigh. To include these, a Headword search for the lemma diaidh should be considered.
The Phrase search is useful not only for multiword expressions but also for finding in the corpus instances of grammar and syntax which may be of interest.
For example (where _ denotes the entry of a space), a search for _ba_cheart_ will return instances which match that term, but a search based on _ba_ch will return examples containing all instances of lenition on the character ‘c’ following the word ‘ba’.
Interesting letter combinations and clusters at the beginning and end of words, and also within words, can also be found through careful use of the space character.
As the phrase search works on an ‘exact match’ basis, it may be necessary when searching for proper nouns to conduct further searches for lenited and inflected forms to ensure the maximum return of results, eg. Ó Cathasaigh / Uí Chathasaigh, etc.