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Judging

For many deaf students, English structures that reflect basic SVO word order are easier to produce and easier to comprehend than structures that deviate from SVO word order. Generally speaking, the more a sentence deviates from SVO word order, the more difficult it will be for deaf students.

For each pair of sentences below, click on the letter (A or B) of the sentence that you think would be easier for a deaf student to produce or comprehend. In order to make your choice, you must consider the patterning of SUBJECTS, VERBS, and OBJECTS that each sentence exhibits.

 

1. A. Clicking a link allows you to see another document.
    B. When you click a link, you will see another document.
ANSWER INCORRECT. Sentence A should be more difficult than sentence B. In sentence A there are no explicit subjects for the gerund 'clicking' and the infinitive 'to see.' In sentence B, each verb has an explicit subject.

A. Clicking (V) a link (O) allows (V) you (O) to see (V) another document (O).
B. When you (S) click (V) a link (O), you (S) will see (V) another document (O).
ANSWER CORRECT. Sentence B should be easier to process because each verb has an explicit subject. In sentence A, there are no explicit subjects for the gerund 'clicking' and the infinitive 'to see.'

A. Clicking (V) a link (O) allows (V) you (O) to see (V) another document (O).
B. When you (S) click (V) a link (O), you (S) will see (V) another document (O).

2. A. The site visitor reloaded the document and updated the cache.
    B. Having reloaded the document, the site visitor updated the cache.
ANSWER CORRECT. Sentence A should be easier than sentence B because it has an explicit subject, 'the site visitor,' for the verb 'reloaded.' In sentence B, there is no explicit subject for the participle 'having reloaded.' Although sentence A has a second verb phrase, 'updated the cache,' it should be easier for a student to infer that 'the site visitor'is also the subject of the second verb phrase than it would be to infer that 'the site visitor is the logical subject of 'having reloaded' in sentence B because 'having reloaded' precedes 'the site visitor.'

A. The site visitor (S) reloaded (V) the document (O) and updated (V) the cache (O).
B. Having reloaded (V) the document (O), the site visitor (S) updated (V) the cache (O).
ANSWER INCORRECT. Sentence A should be easier than sentence B because it has an explicit subject, 'the site visitor,' for the verb 'reloaded.' In sentence B, there is no explicit subject for the participle 'having reloaded.' Although sentence A has a second verb phrase, 'updated the cache,' it should be easier for a student to infer that 'the site visitor' is also the subject of the second verb phrase than it would be to infer that 'the site visitor' is the logical subject of 'having reloaded' in sentence B because 'having reloaded' precedes 'the site visitor.'

A. The site visitor (S) reloaded (V) the document (O) and updated (V) the cache (O).
B. Having reloaded (V) the document (O), the site visitor (S) updated (V) the cache (O).

3. A Web developers can use style sheets for developing attractive presentations.
    B. In order to develop attractive presentations, web developers can use style sheets.
ANSWER CORRECT. Sentence A should be easier than sentence B because it begins with SVO. Although the sentence contains a gerund 'developing,' which does not have an explicit subject, the gerund follows the main clause and a student would likely figure out that the logical subject of developing' is 'web developers'. In sentence B, the infinitive 'to develop' precedes the main clause, making it more difficult to infer that its logical subject is 'web developers.'

A. Web developers (S) can use (V) style sheets (O) for developing (V) attractive presentations (O).
B. In order to develop (V) attractive presentations (O), web developers (S) can use (V) style sheets (O).
ANSWER INCORRECT. Sentence A should be easier than sentence B because it begins with SVO. Although the sentence contains a gerund 'developing,' which does not have an explicit subject, the gerund follows the main clause and a student would likely figure out that the logical subject of 'developing' is 'web developers'. In sentence B, the infinitive 'to develop' precedes the main clause, making it more difficult to infer that its logical subject is 'web developers.'

A. Web developers (S) can use (V) style sheets (O) for developing (V) attractive presentations (O).
B. In order to develop (V) attractive presentations (O), web developers (S) can use (V) style sheets (O).

4. A. Which URL did the administrator say that the programmer should omit?
    B. Which URL should the programmer omit?
ANSWER INCORRECT. Sentence A should be more difficult than sentence B. In sentence A, 'which URL' has moved further to get to the beginning of the sentence than it has in sentence B.

A. Which URL (O) did (V) the administrator (S) say (V) that the programmer (S) should omit (V)?
B. Which URL (O) should (V) the programmer (S) omit (O)? NOTE: Sentence B contains less information than sentence A.
A sequence of two sentences could retain all of the information expressed in sentence A. For example:
The administrator said that the programmer should omit a URL. Which URL should the programmer omit?
ANSWER CORRECT. Sentence B should be easier than sentence iA. In sentence A, 'which URL' has moved further to get to the beginning of the sentence than it has in sentence B.

A. Which URL (O) did (V) the administrator (S) say (V) that the programmer (S) should omit (V)?
B. Which URL (O) should (V) the programmer (S) omit (O)?
NOTE: Sentence B contains less information that sentence A. A sequence of two sentences could retain all of the information expressed in sentence A. For example:
The administrator said that the programmer should omit a URL. Which URL should the programmer omit?