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(In)Complete acquisition of Turkish among Turkish German bilinguals in Germany and Turkey: an analysis of complex embeddings in narratives

Treffers-Daller, J. ORCID:, Ozsoy, A. S. and van Hout, R. (2007) (In)Complete acquisition of Turkish among Turkish German bilinguals in Germany and Turkey: an analysis of complex embeddings in narratives. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10 (3). pp. 248-276. ISSN 1367-0050

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To link to this item DOI: 10.2167/beb443.0


Although most researchers recognise that the language repertoire of bilinguals can mvary, few studies have tried to address variation in bilingual competence in any detail. This study aims to take a first step towards further understanding the way in which bilingual competencies can vary at the level of syntax by comparing the use of syntactic embeddings among three different groups of Turkish/German bilinguals. The approach of the present paper is new in that different groups of bilinguals are compared with each other, and not only with monolingual speakers, as is common in most studies in the field. The analysis focuses on differences in the use of embeddings in Turkish, which are generally considered to be one of the more complex aspects of Turkish grammar. The study shows that young Turkish/German bilingual adults who were born and raised in Germany use fewer, and less complex embeddings than Turkish/German bilingual returnees who had lived in Turkey for eight years at the time of recording. The present study provides new insights in the nature of bilingual competence, as well as a new perspective on syntactic change in immigrant Turkish as spoken in Europe.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:29880
Uncontrolled Keywords:bilingualism, bilingual education, German, incomplete acquisition, syntax, Turkish
Publisher Statement:This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism [version of record 22 Dec 2008] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:


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