Investigating Dominant Word Order on Universal Dependencies with Graph Rewriting

This paper details experiments we performed on the Universal Dependencies 2.7 corpora in order to investigate the dominant word order in the available languages. For this purpose, we used a graph rewriting tool, GREW, which allowed us to go beyond the surface annotations and identify the implicit subjects. We first measured the distribution of the six different word orders (SVO, SOV, VSO, VOS, OVS, OSV) in the corpora and investigated when there was a significant difference in the corpora within a given language. Then, we compared the obtained results with information provided in the WALS database (Dryer and Haspelmath, 2013) and in ( ̈Ostling, 2015). Finally, we examined the impact of using a graph rewriting tool for this task. The tools and resources used for this research are all freely available.

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