Acquisition of Zero Relative Clauses in English by Adult Turkish Learners of English

Eser Ordem


Studies on acquisition of relative clauses by first and second language learners have evoked considerable interest in recent decades. In line with such studies, in this present study we aim to show the possible effect of first language (Turkish) on second language (English) in zero relative clause constructions. English uses certain stranded prepositions in zero relative clauses, whereas Turkish uses the same suffix in non-subject relative clause constructions. This observation in two typologically different languages led the study to claim that Turkish word order in non-subject relative clauses affects the acquisition of zero relative clauses in English. Fifty sentences in Turkish were prepared and composed of five categories. Each category consisted of ten sentences. Each category referred to one of the five cases in Turkish. These cases were accusative, locative, ablative, dative and instrumental. The participants (N=91) were asked to translate these Turkish sentences into English. The results showed that the participants tended to omit prepositions in English zero relative clauses except the construction that did not entail any preposition. Therefore, the study implies that Turkish language learners may be under the effect of their mother tongue while producing zero relative clauses in English.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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