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Academic Paper

Title: Postverbal Elements in Immigrant Turkish: Evidence of change?
Paper URL:;jsessionid=104pjyogum1cd.alice
Author: A. Seza Doğruöz
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universiteit van Tilburg
Author: Ad Backus
Institution: Universiteit van Tilburg
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: Contact between languages usually leads to linguistic changes. Both social and structural factors are claimed to influence this process. This study analyzes word order in Turkish as spoken in the Netherlands (NL-Turkish). Turkish is an OV language but also allows other word order patterns (including VO) in certain pragmatic contexts. Dutch, on the other hand, is VO in main clauses. Due to contact, Turkish may be expected to increase its use of VO. From a comparison with Turkish as spoken in Turkey (TR-Turkish), it appeared that there is no increase of VO in NL-Turkish. However, we did find some deviations in the information structure characteristics of VO structures and sometimes these seem to be due to Dutch influence. On the other hand, TR-Turkish data also contained certain types of VO structures that further caution against hasty contact conclusions. We conclude that contact situations is need to be intense for sweeping syntactic change to occur, and that such change starts with changes in individual semi-lexical constructions.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: International Journal of Bilingualism. Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 185-220.

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