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On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 at 14:44, Aidan Aannestad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Japanese arguably doesn't have an 'infinitive' though, or at least
> anything analogous to an IE infinitive. Do you mean 'base uninflected
> form'? That form is 100% valid as the verb of a main clause.

That would seem to make doing a comparable test rather difficult--but
English has similar issues, and while they make it harder to collect
significant amounts of usable data, it's not impossible. The base
uninflected form of English verbs is also a valid finite form, but you
can still do the test on English L1 learners by identifying places
where a different form *should've* been used in adult speech, but the
child substituted the base form instead.

-l.

> On 2019/01/29 15:42, Logan Kearsley wrote:
> > On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 at 13:28, Aidan Aannestad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> It's a bit surprising to me to hear that about verb inflections -
> >> Japanese is /very/ pro-drop, and yet has no agreement marking on the
> >> verb at all.
> > That's a good point. I wonder what the infinitive usage statistics are
> > for children acquiring Japanese as their L1....
> >
> > -l.
> >
> >> On 2019/01/28 18:22, Logan Kearsley wrote:
> >>> This is a fairly old paper, but I only recently discovered it, and
> >>> found it terribly interesting:
> >>> http://web.uconn.edu/snyder/papers/EB_WS_FASL.pdf
> >>>
> >>> For one thing, it introduced me to an interesting developmental test
> >>> for the "pro-drop" classification: If kids use a lot of infinitive
> >>> forms before learning proper finite verb inflections, your language is
> >>> *not* actually pro-drop. No particular reason for why that should be
> >>> is presented, but it kinda makes sense to me: if the adults around you
> >>> don't actually drop subject pronouns very often, then inflectional
> >>> information in the verb is less important; but, if they do, verbal
> >>> inflection becomes much more important for encoding thematic subjects,
> >>> so it makes sense that it would be learned faster.
> >>>
> >>> Possibly of more direct relevance to conlangers: a distinction is made
> >>> between dropping expletive subjects vs. thematic subjects (where only
> >>> dropping thematic subjects "counts" as pro-dropping). I think this
> >>> intuitively makes sense to a lot of people (i.e., all of the
> >>> conlangers who include something in the grammar to the effect of "if
> >>> you want to say 'it's raining', my language leaves out the 'it',
> >>> because it's dumb."), but I haven't before seen it formally
> >>> distinguished as a separate syntactic parameter.
> >>>
> >>> -l.