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Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics

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Volume 45, Issue 4

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Chinese Syntactic and Typological Properties Based on Dependency Syntactic Treebanks

Haitao Liu / Yiyi Zhao / Wenwen Li
Published Online: 2010-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10010-009-0025-3

Chinese Syntactic and Typological Properties Based on Dependency Syntactic Treebanks

This paper offers a quantitative analysis of the syntactic and typological properties of Chinese based on five Chinese dependency treebanks. The study shows that mean dependency distance of Chinese is 2.84; 40-50% dependencies are between non-adjacent words; Chinese is a mixed language with a governor-final and SV-VO-AdjN preference; the mean dependency distance of governor-initial dependencies is greater than that of governor-final ones. Methodologically, the paper adopts five treebanks with different text genres and annotation schemes as a resource to study syntactic features of a language. This method avoids corpus influences on results so that the conclusions can be more reliable and robust. If suitable treebanks are available, it will be an easy task to apply our method to other languages. In this way, the method has a broad theoretical and cross-linguistic perspective.

Keywords: Chinese; dependency distance; dependency direction; dependency treebank; linguistic typology

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About the article


Published Online: 2010-01-13

Published in Print: 2009-12-01


Citation Information: Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, Volume 45, Issue 4, Pages 509–523, ISSN (Online) 1897-7499, ISSN (Print) 0137-2459, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10010-009-0025-3.

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