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On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 at 16:42, Alfrún Trollsdóttir
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Take Polish - it inflects verbs by number, person and gender, and is
> pron-drop. I don't know stats for infinitives with language aquisition, but
> both my younger siblings, and my cousins' children were using inflected
> forms when learning. (I am a native speaker).
>
> On the subjct of defining pron-drop language as one that allows to drop
> pronouns as subject, Polish demands it. I mean noone uses pronouns as a
> subject until it carries additional meaning. Otherise it is a big stylistic
> error. I mean I still, after learning English for over 20 years, have to
> often check whether I skipped pronouns as subject or not. In all foreign
> languages I know.
> Phrase "it rains" is not a perfect example, because although in normal
> every day Polish it is in fact "pada" - "(it) falls", but that can also
> refer to any other type of precipitation, and hearing "pada" you
> automaticly think of rain, because the whole phrase is "Pada deszcz" (Rain
> falls). Better would be "Grzmi." (It thunders).
>
> It always was strange for me that both Russian and Icelandic have good
> conjugation, but still require pronoun subject, and Japanese doesn't.

Indeed! If the explanation offered in that paper for *why* Russian
requires subject pronouns in most cases is accurate (i.e., that there
is a lack of underlying verb movement to license the use of a null
pronoun, and that subject pronouns themselves are not actually
examples of DPs/NPs but rather a lexicalization of an Agr node), that
would seem to me to be just about the strongest evidence I know of for
the psychological reality of abstract syntax!

On which note: does Polish permit inserting adverbs between the verb
and object when using SVO word order?

-l.

> wt., 29 sty 2019 o 23:26 Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> napisał(a):
>
> > 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.
> >