Interrogative elements as subordinators in Turkish

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This study has been conducted within the larger context of the project SKOBI and its research questions concerning the acquisition and development of linguistic connectivity in Turkish and German in bilingual children. The phenomenon analyzed is approached from the perspective of language typology, sociolinguistics, language psychology and acquisition theory. The paper is intended as a mainly qualitative study on one phenomenon in the language use of five Turkish-German bilingual children displaying innovative constructions of a kind not to be found in the data of the monolingual control group. It does, however, contain some additional quantitative information to give some idea of the relative frequency of the construction type in question. The paper starts with (1) the presentation of our basic pre-assumptions and research questions; (2) it then takes a cross-linguistic look at the procedural structure of <i>wh-</i>elements in interrogative and non-interrogative usages and (3, 4) looks at their specific syntactic and discursive roles in monolingual Turkish in contrast to German. Part 5 presents the innovations under way in embedded constructions in the bilingual Turkish data; Part 6 is a quantification of the phenomenon, based on our data. Part 7 explains these constructions with regard to a possible expansion of their procedural compositionality. The conclusion (8) attempts to re-relate the findings to the more general discussion of language change on the basis of language contact.


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