phrasal syntax & collocation

Remember the discussion about 'time' in Longman's? I wanted
to re-pose a brief question regarding definitions...

Would it be useful in NLP to

(i) make the first cut at the level of phrasal syntax (NP, PP, VP),
drawing from word's syntactic position basic, typical  NP, PP,
VP types of meaning, and
(ii) then move on for more detail to the to collocational aspects of
meaning in the word's immediate context?

As is, in Longman's,  it seems that the lexicographers went
straight to (ii), skipping all the semantic basic info. they could
have drawn out of the basic phrasal patterning of (i).

rebecca wheeler