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Looking at the evidence in visual world: eye-movements reveal how bilingual and monolingual Turkish speakers process grammatical evidentiality.

Arslan S, Bastiaanse R, Felser C - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The behavioral results indicate that the monolingual Turkish speakers comprehended direct and indirect evidential scenarios equally well.The behavioral results were also reflected in the proportions of looks data.Taken together, our results indicate reduced sensitivity to the semantic and pragmatic function of direct evidential forms in both late and early bilingual speakers, suggesting a simplification of the Turkish evidentiality system in Turkish heritage grammars.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain, University of Groningen Groningen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
This study presents pioneering data on how adult early bilinguals (heritage speakers) and late bilingual speakers of Turkish and German process grammatical evidentiality in a visual world setting in comparison to monolingual speakers of Turkish. Turkish marks evidentiality, the linguistic reference to information source, through inflectional affixes signaling either direct (-DI) or indirect (-mIş) evidentiality. We conducted an eye-tracking-during-listening experiment where participants were given access to visual 'evidence' supporting the use of either a direct or indirect evidential form. The behavioral results indicate that the monolingual Turkish speakers comprehended direct and indirect evidential scenarios equally well. In contrast, both late and early bilinguals were less accurate and slower to respond to direct than to indirect evidentials. The behavioral results were also reflected in the proportions of looks data. That is, both late and early bilinguals fixated less frequently on the target picture in the direct than in the indirect evidential condition while the monolinguals showed no difference between these conditions. Taken together, our results indicate reduced sensitivity to the semantic and pragmatic function of direct evidential forms in both late and early bilingual speakers, suggesting a simplification of the Turkish evidentiality system in Turkish heritage grammars. We discuss our findings with regard to theories of incomplete acquisition and first language attrition.

No MeSH data available.


Mean proportions of target fixations per participant group and condition for the 2000 ms time window from the onset of the critical verb. The y-axis shows participants’ mean fixation proportions for each of the two evidentiality conditions.
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Figure 2: Mean proportions of target fixations per participant group and condition for the 2000 ms time window from the onset of the critical verb. The y-axis shows participants’ mean fixation proportions for each of the two evidentiality conditions.

Mentions: Figure 2 illustrates the moment-by-moment changes in participants’ proportions of looks toward the target picture for the direct and indirect evidential conditions during the entire 2000 ms time window, and Figure 3 shows the mean proportions of looks in the main and later time windows, respectively. Figure 2 indicates that the proportions of looks to the target picture were around 50% (i.e., participants gazed on both the target and context photographs with equal likelihood) at the beginning of the time window for all groups, which confirms that participants did not visually prefer one photograph over the other before they heard the critical verb form. As we mentioned above, any fixation changes prior to 200 ms from verb onset cannot be attributed to the critical stimulus.


Looking at the evidence in visual world: eye-movements reveal how bilingual and monolingual Turkish speakers process grammatical evidentiality.

Arslan S, Bastiaanse R, Felser C - Front Psychol (2015)

Mean proportions of target fixations per participant group and condition for the 2000 ms time window from the onset of the critical verb. The y-axis shows participants’ mean fixation proportions for each of the two evidentiality conditions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4584937&req=5

Figure 2: Mean proportions of target fixations per participant group and condition for the 2000 ms time window from the onset of the critical verb. The y-axis shows participants’ mean fixation proportions for each of the two evidentiality conditions.
Mentions: Figure 2 illustrates the moment-by-moment changes in participants’ proportions of looks toward the target picture for the direct and indirect evidential conditions during the entire 2000 ms time window, and Figure 3 shows the mean proportions of looks in the main and later time windows, respectively. Figure 2 indicates that the proportions of looks to the target picture were around 50% (i.e., participants gazed on both the target and context photographs with equal likelihood) at the beginning of the time window for all groups, which confirms that participants did not visually prefer one photograph over the other before they heard the critical verb form. As we mentioned above, any fixation changes prior to 200 ms from verb onset cannot be attributed to the critical stimulus.

Bottom Line: The behavioral results indicate that the monolingual Turkish speakers comprehended direct and indirect evidential scenarios equally well.The behavioral results were also reflected in the proportions of looks data.Taken together, our results indicate reduced sensitivity to the semantic and pragmatic function of direct evidential forms in both late and early bilingual speakers, suggesting a simplification of the Turkish evidentiality system in Turkish heritage grammars.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain, University of Groningen Groningen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
This study presents pioneering data on how adult early bilinguals (heritage speakers) and late bilingual speakers of Turkish and German process grammatical evidentiality in a visual world setting in comparison to monolingual speakers of Turkish. Turkish marks evidentiality, the linguistic reference to information source, through inflectional affixes signaling either direct (-DI) or indirect (-mIş) evidentiality. We conducted an eye-tracking-during-listening experiment where participants were given access to visual 'evidence' supporting the use of either a direct or indirect evidential form. The behavioral results indicate that the monolingual Turkish speakers comprehended direct and indirect evidential scenarios equally well. In contrast, both late and early bilinguals were less accurate and slower to respond to direct than to indirect evidentials. The behavioral results were also reflected in the proportions of looks data. That is, both late and early bilinguals fixated less frequently on the target picture in the direct than in the indirect evidential condition while the monolinguals showed no difference between these conditions. Taken together, our results indicate reduced sensitivity to the semantic and pragmatic function of direct evidential forms in both late and early bilingual speakers, suggesting a simplification of the Turkish evidentiality system in Turkish heritage grammars. We discuss our findings with regard to theories of incomplete acquisition and first language attrition.

No MeSH data available.