Infinitives and Gerunds (Structured Tasks for English by Elaine Costello

By Elaine Costello

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Additional info for Infinitives and Gerunds (Structured Tasks for English Practice)

Example text

We trust that such errors will produce only random variation in the data, and thus that the results we report here are reliable. 6 JOAN L. BYBEE, WILLIAM PAGLIUCA AND REVERE D. PERKINS Table 2. Position with respect to verb by boundness for the three word order types ' V-initial languages (8) Nonbound Bound Preposed Postposed 16% (13) 26% (29) 84% (68) 74% (82) All 22% (42) 78% (150) Nonbound Bound Preposed Postposed 60% (298) 19% (82) 40% (200) 81% (341) All 41% (380) 59% (541) Nonbound Bound Preposed Postposed 32% (75) 20% (205) 68% (158) 80% (813) All 22% (280) 78% (971) All 42% (81) 58% (111) V-mediai languages (31) All 54% (498) 46% (423) V-final languages (32) All 18% (233) 82% (1018) From Table 2, it can be seen that word order type does indeed make a difference for both postposing and affixation.

First, it should be noted that Worora's prefixing predominance is attributable solely to its prefixed per­ son/number agreement markers. Since Worora has thirteen agreement markers, this one fact makes the language appear to be predominantly pre­ fixing; the tense, aspect, directional and indirect object grams all follow the verb, as would be predicted in a V-final language. 11 ASYMMETRIES IN AFFIXATION Similarly, Abkhaz is not quite as aberrant as it might appear, with its 60 prefixes and 38 suffixes that met our coding criteria: 26 of the prefixes are person/number agreement markers, and many of the others are valence or directional and locative grams.

PERKINS Our access to these languages is through written material, chiefly refer­ ence grammars, but also journal articles and teaching grammars. For each language we coded information about all of the closed class items that had general applicability and were fixed in their position with respect to the verb. g. their phonetic shape, the exis­ tence of allomorphs, their position with respect to the verb, whether they are written bound) as well as information about their meaning or function. In addition, we recorded certain basic information about the languages, such as the basic ordering of subject, verb and object, the phoneme inven­ tories, and so on.

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