An Argument for Symmetric Coordination from Dependency Length Minimization: A Replication Study
Adam Przepiórkowski, Magdalena Borysiak, Adam Głowacki
May 2024

It is well known that left conjuncts tend to be shorter in English coordinate structures. On the basis of Penn Treebank, Przepiórkowski and Woźniak (2023) show that this tendency depends on the difference between lengths of conjuncts: the larger the difference, the stronger the tendency for the shorter conjunct to occur on the left. However, this dynamics is observed only when the governor of the coordinate structure is on the left of the coordination (e.g., Bring apples and oranges!) or when it is absent (e.g., Come and sing!), and not when it is on the right (e.g., Apples and oranges fell). Given the principle of Dependency Length Minimization, this turns out to provide an argument for the symmetric structure of coordination. We replicate and sharpen this result on the basis of a much larger dataset: parts of the COCA corpus parsed with Stanza. We also investigate the dependence of this result on the assumed unit of length (word vs. character) and on genre.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007923
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: in the proceedings of LREC-COLING 2024
keywords: coordination, dependency grammar, corpora, syntctic parsing, stanza, universal dependencies, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2024]
v1 [February 2024]
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