21.4492, Diss: Psycholing: Ozge: 'Mechanisms and Strategies in the ...'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-21-4492. Tue Nov 09 2010. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 21.4492, Diss: Psycholing: Ozge: 'Mechanisms and Strategies in the ...'

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1)
Date: 09-Nov-2010
From: Duygu Ozge [duyguozge at gmail.com]
Subject: Mechanisms and Strategies in the Processing and Acquisition of Relative Clauses in Turkish Monolingual and Turkish-English Bilingual Children
 

	
-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2010 13:15:17
From: Duygu Ozge [duyguozge at gmail.com]
Subject: Mechanisms and Strategies in the Processing and Acquisition of Relative Clauses in Turkish Monolingual and Turkish-English Bilingual Children

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Institution: Middle East Technical University 
Program: Foreign Language Education 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2010 

Author: Duygu Ozge

Dissertation Title: Mechanisms and Strategies in the Processing and Acquisition 
of Relative Clauses in Turkish Monolingual and
Turkish-English Bilingual Children 

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics

Subject Language(s): Turkish (tur)


Dissertation Director(s):
Deniz Zeyrek
Theodoros Marinis

Dissertation Abstract:

The thesis aims to provide a comprehensive experimental analysis of the
processing and acquisition of Turkish relative clauses in Turkish
monolingual and Turkish-English bilingual children at the ages of 5-8. The
study combines offline techniques with online reaction-time experiments,
for the ?rst time in testing monolingual Turkish children, in order to
compare the mechanisms and strategies employed by adults and children of a
head-?nal language with rich in?ection and variable word order. 

In addition, the study presents two offline experiments investigating the
comprehension and production strategies employed by Turkish-English
bilingual children and Turkish monolingual children at the ages of 5-8. 

A series of experiments in this study con?rmed that the subject-object
asymmetry that has been reported in several other languages, as well as in
Turkish, has also been observed in Turkish speaking monolingual and
bilingual children in terms of their comprehension and production of
Turkish relative clauses. In all of the experiments, both monolingual and
bilingual children showed a better performance in subject RCs compared to
object RCs. Moreover, the monolingual children presented a very similar
pattern to the adults in some of the experiments, which was taken to
indicate that the subject-object asymmetry cannot be caused by a single
factor but rather it arises as a combination of multiple factors such as
ambiguity concerning the function of a lexical or morphological item, ease
of local attachment to a verb (a la Gibson, 1998), deviation from the
canonical word order, frequency, and perceptual factors, among others. 

While investigating the underlying causes of this asymmetry, the study also
focused on some of the hypotheses offered to account for the strategies
used in sentence processing, such as the Filler-Gap Hypotheses (Maratsos,
1974; Wanner & Maratsos, 1974; Fodor, 1978; Clifton & Frazier, 1989;
Frazier, Flores d'Arcais & Giovanni, 1989; O'Grady, 1997; among others),
the Parallel Function Hypothesis (Sheldon, 1974), and the Canonical Word
Order Strategy (Bever, 1970), and showed that these hypotheses fail to
fully account for the processing facts from Turkish relative clauses. 

The study argues that the present ?ndings could be best accounted for in a
constraint-based lexicalist framework. Two such accounts were discussed in
the thesis. One is Steedman's (1989, 2000) model of a processor with a
highly lexicalized grammar, a bottom-up parsing algorithm, a mechanism that
evaluates multiple sources of information in line with the parsing model of
a specific language. The other is a processing model by Vasishth and
Kruijff (2001) that uses a highly lexicalized grammar, a combination of a
top-down and a bottom-up algorithm, and a complexity metric inspired by
Gibson (1998) and Hale (2001). 




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