The referential versus non-referential use of the neuter pronoun in Dutch and English

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Hoste, V., Hendrickx, I., & Macken, L.
Proceedings of Corpus Linguistics 2007


This paper discusses a corpus-based investigation of the distribution of the third- person neuter singular pronoun in Dutch (“het”). We labeled all pronominal occurrences of “het” in a large corpus of documents. On the basis of the annotated corpora, we developed an automatic classification system using machine learning techniques to distinguish between the different uses of the neuter pronoun. Although our annotation reveals a completely different distribution of the different uses of the pronoun in Dutch and English, we show that the learning method used for English can be successfully ported to Dutch.