Edited by Alexandru Mardale and Silvina Montrul
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 26] 2020
► pp. 313–341
Chapter 12. Over-sensitivity to the animacy constraint on DOM in low proficient Turkish heritage speakers
This study investigated knowledge of a semantics-morphosyntax interface phenomenon in Turkish-German heritage bilingual speakers: optional accusative case marking on indefinite direct objects, an instance of Differential Object Marking (DOM), in Turkish and its interaction with the animacy of the direct object argument. We investigated whether the non-DOM language German, has an influence on the DOM-language Turkish in Turkish heritage bilingual speakers whose dominant language is German. The results of an acceptability judgment task show no cross crosslinguistic influence from the dominant German; the results reveal instead a sensitivity to animacy level of the indefinite direct objects, since heritage speakers make finer animacy distinctions compared to the monolingual Turkish speakers. The study also shows that proficiency level in Turkish contributes to DOM accuracy in the bilingual speakers.