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. 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.