Rhythm in Turkish German talk-in-interaction

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In the following contribution, I describe some characteristics of the ethnic style of speaking ‘Türkendeutsch’. My focus will be on the constitution of rhythm, and its forms and functions in talk-in-interaction. Two types of rhythmic principles will be identified, namely a pattern based on accent isochrony, and a pattern based on metrical stress distribution. The discussion of the data will demonstrate how rhythmic patterns locally govern prosodic and syntactic structures that may differ from colloquial spoken German as a result: sometimes, the primary accent of a turn constructional unit is shifted so it no longer conforms to colloquial spoken German rules of accentuation; in other cases, syntactic structures are changed in accordance with a rhythmic pattern. It is also suggested that speakers use phonetic and phonological features from Turkish and German to establish and maintain rhythmic patterns. Finally, the functions of rhythm in Turkish German as a resource for sequence organization, story-telling and the construction of accounts are discussed on the basis of the empirical material at hand.


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