The Effects of Syntactic Priming on Turkish English Bilinguals’ Production of Passive Sentences
Arman Ergin, Sena
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Syntactic priming is defined as the tendency of producing recently exposed utterance. The present study investigates the effects of syntactic priming which is passive structure on the production of passives among 30 Turkish (L1)-English (L2) bilinguals. The study also examined whether passive structure was shared between these two languages via syntactic priming. Participants and researcher described a picture each other one by one. 30 subjects were divided into two groups; 15 participants were provided with Turkish primes while other 15 were presented with English primes. Each group including 15 participants was again divided into two groups as 7-8, changing the prime type as active or passive. Mann Whitney U test was conducted to report direction of priming, prime type and number of passives produced as dependent variable. The results of the experiment reported that the direction of priming did not play a role in the production of passives. However, the results demonstrated priming effects both from Turkish-English and English-Turkish conditions. Hearing a passive Turkish sentence gave rise to increase in the production of passive utterances in English, and vice versa providing evidence from Turkish-English bilinguals for shared syntax account. The existence of priming effect regardless of the direction of priming postulated symmetrical relation between two languages in Turkish-English bilinguals.
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