Word order in Hamida’s narratives
Main clause verb placement in Hamida’s narratives, as can be gleaned from the overview provided in Figure 4.16 (cf. also Table D-5 in Appendix D), is subject to variation throughout the recording time covered in this study. As we can see, V2 patterns predominate in all files, with the exception of file 3. In this file, the relative frequency of V3 sequences (39.3%) exceeds the one of V2 sequences (32.1%). While the proportion of V3 drops to 11.1% in file 4, it raises again to 33.3% in file 5. V1 sequences also occur fairly frequently in files 2 to 4, with an average relative frequency of around 20%. Non-subject initial V2 clauses occur in files 3 to 5, with a relative frequency between 10.7% to 20.0% (cf. Table D-5 in Appendix D). As remarked upon previously, we assume that these two phenomena are related developmentally: variation in the left periphery has been found to precede the eventual implementation of the target V2 constraint. Another phenomenon that is characteristic of Hamida’s written productions concerns verb drop, which at the onset of the study occurs with a relative frequency of 18.5%. While the proportion decreases to 0% and 3.6% in files 2 and 3 respectively, verbless sequences continue to be produced in files 4 and 5 with a frequency of 11.1% and 13.3% respectively.
Figure 4.16: Main clause verb placement in Hamida’s narratives.
Turning to complex constructions in Hamida’s narratives, we can glean from the overview provided in Figure 4.17 that the frequency of embedded clauses in Hamida’s narratives remains relatively low, with a rate of embedded clauses amounting to 8.3% in file 1 and 6.4% in file 5. We can also see that the proportion of coordinated clauses is higher than that of subordinated clauses in files 3 and 5 (with a percentage of 15.4% and 23.4% respectively).
Figure 4.17: Relative frequency of main (MC), embedded (EC) and coordinated (CC) clauses in Hamida’s narratives.