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Academic Paper


Title: Transfer of conceptualization patterns in bilinguals: The construal of motion events in Turkish and German
Author: Helmut Michael Daller
Institution: University of the West of England
Author: Jeanine Treffers-Daller
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.reading.ac.uk/education/about/staff/j-c-treffers~daller.aspx
Institution: University of Reading
Author: Reyhan Furman
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: German
Turkish
Abstract: In the present article we provide evidence for the occurrence of transfer of conceptualization patterns in narratives of two German–Turkish bilingual groups. All bilingual participants grew up in Germany, but only one group is still resident in Germany (n = 49). The other, the returnees, moved back to Turkey after having lived in Germany for thirteen years (n = 35). The study is based on the theoretical framework for conceptual transfer outlined in Jarvis and Pavlenko (2008) and on the typology of satellite-framed and verb-framed languages developed by Talmy (1985, 1991, 2000a, b) and Slobin (1987, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). In the present study we provide evidence for the hypothesis that language structure affects the organization of information structure at the level of the Conceptualizer, and show that bilingual speakers’ conceptualization of motion events is influenced by the dominant linguistic environment in both languages (German for the group in Germany and Turkish for the returnees). The returnees follow the Turkish blueprints for the conceptualization of motion, in both Turkish and German event construals, whereas the German-resident bilinguals follow the German blueprints, when speaking German as well as Turkish. We argue that most of the patterns found are the result of transfer of conceptualization patterns from the dominant language of the environment.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 1.

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