Syntax/semantics/pragmatics of yes/no question in second language Turkish

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This paper examines the second language (L2) acquisition of the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of Turkish yes/no (yn) questions across learners of different proficiency. Employing three tasks, we tested the participants’ knowledge of the syntax of yn questions, the semantic interpretations they assign to the construction, and their mastery of the pragmatic constraints that govern the use of various points of yn questions. Although the results show that the participants’ performance in all three areas we tested is commensurate with their overall proficiency in Turkish, the pragmatic competence of L2 learners seems to lag behind their competence in both syntax and semantics. This points to difficulties that interface phenomena pose to L2 learners, relative to narrow syntax.


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