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Batsbi has multiple exponence (redundant marking) in gender-number agreement, and in a series of experiments we explore the question of whether marking of this kind is functional. In a series of three experiments, we compare verbs that have no agreement marker with ones that have a single marker, and we compare verbs with one agreement marker with ones that have two. We find that word recognition is slower with agreement than without it; words with two agreement markers are recognized more slowly and with more errors relative to verbs with a single marker. For grammaticality judgments, subjects were generally slower to respond when the verb carried more markers. For verbs with no marker versus verbs with one marker, this extra cognitive effort yielded improved accuracy; however, this advantage did not extend to multiple exponence, as the extra processing time did not produce much improvement in accuracy. In cued recall, the presence of one marker conferred a clear advantage in accuracy, but the presence of two agreement markers actually resulted in decreased accuracy. Overall, multiple exponence was found not to confer a functional advantage in these experiments.




Supplemental material for Perception of Exuberant Exponence in Batsbi is here.







data1ABfreq.csv (90 kB)
Data from experiment 1, sets A and B

data1Cfreq.csv (60 kB)
Data from experiment 1, set C

data2_10.csv (35 kB)
Data from experiment 2, involving the 1 CM vs. zero CM test

data2_21.csv (42 kB)
Data from experiment 2, involving the 2 CMs vs. 1 CM test

data3AB.TXT (10 kB)
Data from experiment 3, sets A and B

data3C.txt (11 kB)
Data from experiment 3, set C

metadata.docx (15 kB)

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