Paper: A Working Report on Statistically Modeling Dative Variation in Mandarin Chinese

ACL ID C10-1139
Title A Working Report on Statistically Modeling Dative Variation in Mandarin Chinese
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2010
Authors

Dative variation is a widely observed syn- tactic 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 sen- tence 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 statis- tical modeling approach to investigate the probabilistic trends in English dative alter- nation. In this paper, we report a similar study on 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 fea- tures of Chinese grammar. Among other things, we ...