A Working Report on Statistically Modeling Dative Variation in Mandarin Chinese

Yao Yao, Feng-hsi Liu
2010 International Conference on Computational Linguistics  
Dative variation is a widely observed syntactic phenomenon in world languages (e.g. I gave John a book and I gave a book to John). It has been shown that which surface form will be used in a dative sentence is not a completely random choice, rather, it is conditioned by a wide range of linguistic factors. Previous work by Bresnan and colleagues adopted a statistical modeling approach to investigate the probabilistic trends in English dative alternation. In this paper, we report a similar study
more » ... n Mandarin Chinese. We further developed Bresnan et al.'s models to suit the complexity of the Chinese data. Our models effectively explain away a large proportion of the variation in the data, and unveil some interesting probabilistic features of Chinese grammar. Among other things, we show that Chinese dative variation is sensitive to heavy NP shift in both left and right directions.
dblp:conf/coling/YaoL10 fatcat:j4pvpd4q6nbuha52fbrhipo524