Discourse coordination in Turkish monolingual and Turkish-German bilingual children’s talk: <i>i&#351;te</i>

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The paper examines systematic uses of the linguistic expression i&#351;te in elicited narrative conversations of Turkish monolingual and Turkish-German bilingual children as well as of a few exemplary adult speakers. The theoretical framework is functional-pragmatic. The main hypothesis is that <i>i&#351;te</i>, originally functioning as a discourse particle on a biprocedural basis, with both deictic and incitive procedures, is on its way to develop into a coordinating expression, working both above and below utterance level. In this last use, its functional potential integrates an additional, operative, procedure. The method combines qualitative analyses of empirical occurrences with a quantitative comparison of usage types in the different groups of speakers. As a preliminary result, it can be said that the connective, arguably coordinative, use of <i>i&#351;te</i> is a function of narrative and homileïc discourse competence, prevalent in older children and adult speakers and generally in monolingual children, whereas it occurs to a lesser extent in the data of the younger and the bilingual children. While the primary functions of <i>i&#351;te</i> are made use of by all informants and seem to be part of early acquisition, the realization of its fully expanded functional potential, including the coordinative usages, seems to be part of later acquisition and can be subject to loss or delay under the influence of language contact.


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