Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-jcwnq Total loading time: 0.447 Render date: 2021-10-20T08:20:39.980Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Domain minimization and beyond: Modeling prepositional phrase ordering

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 March 2013

Daniel Wiechmann
Affiliation:
RWTH Aachen University
Arne Lohmann
Affiliation:
University of Vienna

Abstract

An important account of linear ordering in syntax is John A. Hawkins' (2004) theory of cognitive efficiency and the principles of domain minimization formulated therein. In its latest formulation, the theory postulates syntactic and semantic minimization principles. With regard to the relative strength of these principles, prior research into the dynamics of these constraints has come to differing conclusions. Using the relative ordering of prepositional phrases (PPs) in English as a test phenomenon, the present study contributes to the further development of a theory of syntactic serialization through the multifactorial analysis of naturalistic data from a corpus of present-day British English. We find that lexical-semantic dependency constitutes the strongest constraint on serialization followed by the weight-related, syntactic one. More specifically, our results show that although syntactic minimization has much greater data coverage – it applies to a much larger proportion of the data – the lexical-semantic factor has a much greater effect size, thus is more seldomly violated. In addition to assessing the relative importance of the two minimization principles, we also investigate the effects of other potential codeterminants of PP order, namely the manner > place > time generalization and pragmatic information status. Our results suggest that these play statistically significant but tangential roles in PP ordering.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Ariel, Mira. (1990). Accessing noun phrase antecedents. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Ariel, Mira. (2001). Accessibility theory: An overview. In: Sanders, T. et al. , (eds.), Text representation: Linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 2987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baayen, Rolf H. (2008). Analyzing linguistic data: A practical introduction to statistics using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Behaghel, Otto. (1932). Deutsche Syntax. Eine geschichtliche Darstellung. Vol. IV. Wortstellung, Periodenbau. Heidelberg: Winter.Google Scholar
Benor, Sarah, & Levy, Roger. (2006). The chicken or the egg? A probabilistic analysis of English binomials. Language 82(2):233278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bock, Kathryn, & Cutting, J. Cooper. (1992). Regulating mental energy: Performance units in language production. Journal of Memory & Language 31:99127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bock, Kathryn, & Levelt, Willem J. M. (1994). Language production: Grammatical encoding. In Gernsbacher, M. A. (ed.), Handbook of psycholinguistics. San Diego: Academic. 945984.Google Scholar
Bresnan, Joan, Cueni, Anna, Nikitina, Tatiana, & Baayen, Harald. (2007). Predicting the dative alternation. In Boume, G., Kraemer, I., & Zwarts, J. (eds.), Cognitive foundations of interpretation. Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Science. 6994.Google Scholar
Diessel, Holger. (2005). Competing motivations for the ordering of main and adverbial clauses. Linguistics 43:449470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frege, Gottlob. (1948). Sense and reference. The Philosophical Review 57(3):209230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, Edward. (1998). Linguistic complexity: Locality and syntactic dependencies. Cognition 68:176.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gelman, Andrew, & Hill, Jennifer. (2007). Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Givón, Talmy. (1992). The grammar of referential coherence as mental processing instructions. Linguistics 30:555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gries, Stefan Thomas. (2003). Multifactorial analysis in corpus linguistics: A study of particle placement. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
Gundel, Jeanette, Hedberg, Nancy, & Zacharski, Ron. (1993). Cognitive status and the form of referring expressions in discourse. Language 69:274307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawkins, John. (1994). A performance theory of order and constituency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Hawkins, John. (2000). The relative order of prepositional phrases in English: Going beyond manner-place-time. Language Variation and Change 11:231266.Google Scholar
Hawkins, John. (2004). Efficiency and complexity in grammars. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawkins, John. (2009). Language universals and the performance-grammar correspondence hypothesis. In Christiansen, M. H., Collins, C., & Edelman, S. (eds.), Language universals. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 5478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaeger, T. Florian, & Tily, Harry. (2011). Language processing complexity and communicative efficiency. WIRE: Cognitive Science 2(3):323335.Google ScholarPubMed
Kroch, Anthony, & Small, Cathy. (1978). Grammatical ideology and its effect on speech. In Sankoff, D. (ed.), Linguistic variation: Models and methods. New York: Academic Press. 4555.Google Scholar
Lakoff, George, & Johnson, Mark. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Lambrecht, Knut. (1994). Information structure and sentence form: Topic, focus and the mental representation of discourse referents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levelt, Willem J. M. (1989). Speaking: From intention to articulation. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Levy, Roger. (forthcoming). Probabilistic models in the study of language. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Lohmann, Arne. (2011). Constituent order in coordinate constructions—A processing perspective. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hamburg.Google Scholar
Lohse, Barbara, Hawkins, John A., & Wasow, Thomas. (2004). Processing domains in English verb-particle constructions. Language 80(2):238261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marblestone, Karen L. (2007). Semantic and syntactic effects on double prepositional phrase ordering across the lifespan. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Southern California.Google Scholar
Nelson, Gerald, Wallis, Sean, & Aarts, Bas. (2002). Exploring natural language: Working with the British Component of the International Corpus of English. Amsterdam: Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newmeyer, Frederick J. (1998). Language form and language function. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Prince, Ellen. (1981). Toward a taxonomy of given-new information. In Cole, P. (ed.), Radical pragmatics. New York: Academic Press. 223256.Google Scholar
Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey, & Svartvik, Jan. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. Harlow: Longman.Google Scholar
R Development Core Team. (2011). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
Stallings, Lynne, MacDonald, Maryellen, & O'Seaghdha, Padraig. (1998). Phrasal ordering constraints in sentence production: Phrase length and verb disposition in heavy-NP shift. Journal of Memory & Language 39:392417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt. (2004). On operationalizing syntactic complexity. In: Purnelle, G., Fairon, C., & Dister, A. (eds.), Le poids des mots. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Textual Data Statistical Analysis. Louvain-la-Neuve, March 10–12, 2004. Vol. 2. Louvain-la-Neuve: Presses universitaires de Louvain. 10321039.Google Scholar
Wasow, Thomas. (2002). Postverbal behavior. Stanford: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
Wolk, Christoph, Bresnan, Joan, Rosenbach, Anette, & Szmrecsányi, Benedikt. (forthcoming). Dative and genitive variability in Late Modern English: Exploring cross-constructional variation and change. Diachronica.Google Scholar
15
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Domain minimization and beyond: Modeling prepositional phrase ordering
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Domain minimization and beyond: Modeling prepositional phrase ordering
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Domain minimization and beyond: Modeling prepositional phrase ordering
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *