Conjunct Lengths in English, Dependency Length Minimization, and Dependency Structure of Coordination
Adam Przepiórkowski, Michał Woźniak
July 2023
 

This paper confirms that, in English binary coordinations, left conjuncts tend to be shorter than right conjuncts, regardless of the position of the governor of the coordination. We demonstrate that this tendency becomes stronger when length differences are greater, but only when the governor is on the left or absent, not when it is on the right. We explain this effect via Dependency Length Minimization and we show that this explanation provides support for symmetrical dependency structures of coordination (where coordination is multi-headed by all conjuncts, as in Word Grammar or in enhanced Universal Dependencies, or where it is single-headed by the conjunction, as in the Prague Dependency Treebank), as opposed to asymmetrical structures (where coordination is headed by the first conjunct, as in the Meaning–Text Theory or in basic Universal Dependencies).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007283
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: In the Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 15494–15512.
keywords: coordination, dependency length minimization, universal dependencies, headedness, penn treebank, syntax
previous versions: v2 [May 2023]
v1 [May 2023]
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