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Acquisition of L2 Turkish prosody

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Abstract

This paper investigates second language acquisition of lower-level (i.e. word-­level) and higher-level prosody in Turkish to address the role of Universal Grammar (UG) via two different studies. The results of the first study demonstrate that lower-level prosody presents particular challenges for English-­speaking learners, as the task for them involves expunging a prosodic constituent from the grammar, which is hypothesized to be impossible. Higher-­level prosody, on the other hand, was found to be relatively easy to acquire, despite not being taught in Turkish language classes in a comprehensive and linguistically correct manner. Although learners were not native-like in their performance on lower-level prosody, their representations were UG-constrained. Thus, it is concluded that learners have access to UG for prosody at both levels.

References

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