This paper has adopted a quantitative approach to carry out a linguistic study, within the theoretical framework of dependency grammar. Translation is a process where source language and target language interact with each other. The present study aims at exploring the feasibility of mean dependency distance as a metric for automated translation quality assessment. The current research hypothesized that different levels of translation are significantly different in the aspect of mean dependency distance. Data of this study were based on the written translation in Parallel Corpus of Chinese EFL Learners which was composed of translations from Chinese EFL learners in various topic. The translations were human-scored to determine the levels of translation, according to which the translations were categorized. Our results indicated that: (1) senior students perform better in translation than junior students, and mean dependency distance of translations from senior group is significantly shorter than the junior; (2) high quality translations yield shorter mean dependency distance than the low quality translations; (3) mean dependency distance of translations is moderately correlated with the human score. The resultant implication suggests the potential for mean dependency distance in differentiating translations of different quality.


Dependency Grammar Mean Dependency Distance Translation Quality Assessment Quantitative Linguistics.


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