Acquisition of scope relations by Turkish-English bilingual children

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This is a bidirectional case study in the acquisition of semantics by Turkish – English bilingual children. The research question is whether bilingual children acquiring Turkish and English use parental input versus a principle of language learnability, as the basis for their initial interpretation of sentences with a temporal connective (English before, Turkish önce) and disjunction (Turkish ya da, English or). According to the learnability principle, bilingual children were expected to initially assign the same interpretation to the target sentences in both languages, despite differences in the input from adult speakers. The findings of the study confirmed this prediction, and are taken as evidence in support of the principle of language learnability, called the Semantic Subset Principle.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe acquisition of Turkish in childhood
EditorsBelma Haznedar, F. Nihan Ketrez
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9789027266200
ISBN (Print)9789027244109
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameTrends in language acquisition research
ISSN (Print)1569-0644


  • bilingualism
  • Turkish
  • temporal connectives
  • disjunction
  • language learnability

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  • Cite this

    Geckin, V., Crain, S., & Thornton, R. (2016). Acquisition of scope relations by Turkish-English bilingual children. In B. Haznedar, & F. N. Ketrez (Eds.), The acquisition of Turkish in childhood (pp. 119-150). (Trends in language acquisition research; No. 20). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.