The Educational Review, USA

ISSN Print: 2575-7938 Downloads: 260476 Total View: 3529510
Frequency: monthly ISSN Online: 2575-7946 CODEN: TERUBB

Dependency Features of English Nouns in China News English

Changfeng Li*, Jingxiang Cao

School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning, China.

*Corresponding author: Changfeng Li

Published: April 4,2023


Nouns are one of the most frequently used word classes in English. As one variety of “World Englishes”, China English has received much concern in recent years. However, most research on nouns is still at the cognitive aspect or in the traditional qualitative way. As a new quantitative method, dependency grammar reveals the internal relations among the words in the sentence. Therefore, the syntactic features of nouns in China News English can provide a new perspective. The raw material of China English in this study is randomly crawled from China Daily, and the News part in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) from 2013 to 2016is selected as the reference corpus. By using the Jupyter Notebook based on Python, the dependency treebanks are generated. After comparing the proportion of the word classes, dependency direction, and dependency distance of different dependents of nouns in China Daily and COCA, this paper finds that 1) On the whole, the categories of dependents in China English and American English are similar. Determiners, adjectives, nouns, prepositions, verbs, numbers, proper nouns, conjunctions, pronouns and particles are the top ten frequently-used modifiers of nouns. Compared with American English, China English tends to use more adjectives and nouns, while the determiners especially the articles and pronouns are relatively less used. 2) Both in China English and American English, the percentage of HI constructions and HF constructions is close to 50%. China English tends to be more right-embedded than American English. Compared with AmE, in ChiE, prepositions, conjunctions and participles are more frequently used as post-modifiers. 3) The mean dependency distance value of China English (2.68) is larger than American English (2.61). Both in China English and American English, the mean dependency distance of pre-modifiers is shorter than in post-modifiers. The longer the mean dependency distance value is, the more difficult is in processing the information. It indicates that in the News domain, China English is more difficult to be processed in expression. This research provides a new perspective to studying English variants and enriches the current research on nouns.


Fang, Y., Liu, H. (2018). What factors are associated with dependency distances to ensure easy comprehension? A case study of ba sentences in Mandarin Chinese. Lang. Sci., 67 (3), 33-45.

Ferrer-i-Cancho, R., Liu, H. (2014). The risks of mixing dependency lengths from sequences of different length. Glottotheory, 5(2), 143-155.

Futrell, R., Mahowald, K., Gibson, E. (2015). Large-scale evidence of dependency length minimization in 37 languages. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 112 (33), 10336-10341.

G., Kaiser, J., Smolczynska, M. (Eds.). Language Acquisition and Developmental Psychology. Universitas, Crakow, pp. 201-210.

Gibson, E. (1998). Linguistic complexity: Locality of syntactic dependencies. Cognition, 68(1), 1-76.

Heringer, H. J., Strecker, B., Wimmer, R. (1980). Syntax: Fragen-Lösungen- Alternativen. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München.

Hudson, R. (1995). Measuring Syntactic Difficulty. Unpublished paper. Available online at (accessed 06.07.08)

Hudson, R. (1995). Measuring Syntactic Difficulty. Unpublished paper. (2008-7-6).

Hudson, R. (2003). The psychological reality of syntactic dependency relations. In: MTT2003, Paris. 

J. Jiang, H. Liu. (2015). Language Sciences, 50(2015), 93-104.

Jiang, J., & Liu, H. (2015). The effects of sentence length on dependency distance, dependency direction and the implications based on a parallel English-Chinese dependency treebank. Language Sciences, 50(May), 93-104. 

Jiang, J., Liu, H. (2015). The effects of sentence length on dependency distance, dependency direction and the implications-Based on a parallel English-Chinese dependency treebank. Lang. Sci., 50(4), 93-104. Journal of Cognitive Science, 9(2), 159-191. 

Junyan Lu & Haitao Liu. (2020). Do English noun phrases tend to minimize dependency distance? Australian Journal of Linguistics, DOI: 10.1080/07268602.2020.1789552.

Liang, J., Fang, Y., Lv, Q., Liu, H. (2017). Dependency distance differences across interpreting types: implications for cognitive demand. Front. Psychol. 8, 2132.

Liu, H. (2008). Dependency Distance as a Metric of Language Comprehension Difficulty. 

Liu, H. (2008). Dependency distance as a metric of language comprehension difficulty. J. Cognit. Sci., 9(2), 151-191.

Liu, H. (2009). Dependency Grammar: From Theory to Practice. Science Press, Beijing.

Liu, H. (2009). Probability distribution of dependencies based on a Chinese dependency treebank. 

J. Quant. Linguist., 16(3), 256-273.

Liu, H. (2010). Dependency direction as a means of word-order typology: a method based on dependency treebanks. Lingua, 120(6), 1567-1578.

Liu, H., Xu, C. (2011). Can syntactic networks indicate morphological complexity of a language? Epl, 93(2).

Liu, H., Xu, C. (2012). Quantitative typological analysis of romance languages. Pozn. Stud. Contemp. Linguist., 48 (4), 597-625.

Liu, H., Xu, C., Liang, J. (2016). Dependency length minimization: puzzles and promises. Glottometrics, 33, 35-38.

Mauranen, A. Corpora, universals and interference [A]. In A. Mauranen &P. Kujamaki (eds.). Translation Universals—Do They Exist? [C]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2004:65-82.

Ninio, A. (1998). Acquiring a dependency grammar: the first three stages in the acquisition of multiword combinations in Hebrew-speaking children. In: Makiello-Jarza, Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, 48(4), 2012, pp. 597-625. © School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. doi:10.1515/psicl-2012-0027. 

Quirk, R., S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, & J. Svartvik. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. New York: Longman Inc.

Temperley, D. (2007). Minimization of dependency length in written English. Cognition, 105, 300-333.

Wang, L., Liu, H. (2013). Syntactic variations in Chinese-English code-switching. Lingua, 123(1), 58-73.

Wang, L., Liu, H. (2016). Syntactic differences of adverbials and attributives in Chinese-English code-switching. Lang. Sci., 55(3), 16-35.

Wang, Y., Liu, H. (2017). The effects of genre on dependency distance and dependency direction. Lang. Sci., 59 (1), 135-147.

Zhang, G., Liu, H. (2018). A quantitative analysis of English variants based on dependency treebanks. Glottometrics, 44, 16-33.

How to cite this paper

Dependency Features of English Nouns in China News English

How to cite this paper: Changfeng Li, Jingxiang Cao. (2023). Dependency Features of English Nouns in China News English. The Educational Review, USA7(2), 274-283.