Dependency length minimization: Puzzles and Promises [article]

Haitao Liu, Chunshan Xu, Junying Liang
2015 arXiv   pre-print
In the recent issue of PNAS, Futrell et al. claims that their study of 37 languages gives the first large scale cross-language evidence for Dependency Length Minimization, which is an overstatement that ignores similar previous researches. In addition,this study seems to pay no attention to factors like the uniformity of genres,which weakens the validity of the argument that DLM is universal. Another problem is that this study sets the baseline random language as projective, which fails to
more » ... uncover the difference between natural language and random language, since projectivity is an important feature of many natural languages. Finally, the paper contends an "apparent relationship between head finality and dependency length" despite the lack of an explicit statistical comparison, which renders this conclusion rather hasty and improper.
arXiv:1509.04393v1 fatcat:emv5a2vrbjb5lkyyzagv6drw7y