Bidirectional effects of L1 Turkish and L2 English for motion events
This study investigates how children lexicalize motion events in their first and second languages, L1-Turkish and L2-English. English is a satellite-framed language that conflates motion with manner expressed in the main verb and path in a non-verbal element, whereas Turkish is a verb-framed language that conflates motion with path in the main verb and expresses manner in a subordinated verb. We asked three questions: (1) Does early L2 acquisition in an L1 dominant society affect motion event lexicalization in L1? (2) Is the effect of L2 on L1 subject to change due to decline in L2 exposure? (3) Do L1 vs. L2 lexicalizations differ within the bilingual mind? One hundred and twelve 5- and 7-year-old monolingual and bilingual children watched and described video-clips depicting motion events. For L1 descriptions, 5-year-old bilinguals used more manner structures than monolinguals. No difference was found for 7-year-olds. For L2 descriptions, 7-year-old bilinguals used more manner-only constructions compared to their L1 descriptions. For 5-year-old bilinguals no difference was found. Findings suggest that early exposure to a second language had an impact on how motion events are packaged, while decline in L2 exposure dampened the effects of L2.
Keywords: motion events, bilingualism, thinking-for-speaking, Turkish-English
Published online: 23 March 2020
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