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Exploring individual variation in Turkish heritage speakers’ complex linguistic productions: evidence from discourse markers

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Blum,  Frederic       
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
CALC, Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Özsoy, O., & Blum, F. (2023). Exploring individual variation in Turkish heritage speakers’ complex linguistic productions: evidence from discourse markers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 44, 534-564. doi:10.1017/S0142716423000267.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-2E2B-1
Abstract
Research on multilingual speakers is often compared to monolingual baselines which are commonly treated as if they were homogeneous across speakers. Despite recent research showing that this homogeneity does not hold, these practices reproduce native-speakerism and monolingualism. Heritage language research, which established itself in the past two decades, is no exemption. Focusing on three predefined linguistic groups, namely Turkish speakers which are framed as monolingual in Turkey as well as two heritage bilingually framed groups in Germany and the USA, we ask: (1) Do heritage speakers of Turkish produce more discourse and fluency markers (FMs) than monolingual speakers? (2) Are the groups homogeneous, or is there wide variation between speakers across groups? We focus on the variation between and within groups using Bayesian Linear Regression with a multilevel model for speakers and heritage groups. Our findings confirm that the use of discourse and FMs is largely defined through individual variation, and not through the belonging to a certain speaker group. By focusing on variation across groups rather than between groups, our study design supports the growing body of literature that questions common heritage language research practices of today and shows alternative paths to understanding heritage grammars.