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The acquisition and use of relative clauses in Turkish-learning children's conversational interactions: a cross-linguistic approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2019


Berna A. UZUNDAG
Affiliation:
Koç University, Turkey Kadir Has University, Turkey
Aylin C. KÜNTAY
Affiliation:
Koç University, Turkey
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Using a cross-linguistic approach, we investigated Turkish-speaking children's acquisition and use of relative clauses (RCs) by examining longitudinal child–caregiver interactions and cross-sectional peer conversations. Longitudinal data were collected from 8 children between the ages of 8 and 36 months. Peer conversational corpus came from 78 children aged between 43 and 64 months. Children produced RCs later than in English (Diessel, 2004) and Mandarin (Chen & Shirai, 2015), and demonstrated increasing semantic and structural complexity with age. Despite the morphosyntactic difficulty of object RCs, and prior experimental findings showing a subject RC advantage, preschool-aged children produced object RCs, which were highly frequent in child-directed speech, as frequently as subject RCs. Object RCs in spontaneous speech were semantically less demanding (with pronominal subjects and inanimate head nouns) than the stimuli used in prior experiments. Results suggest that multiple factors such as input frequency and morphosyntactic and semantic difficulty affect the acquisition patterns.


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Articles
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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