The influence of age of acquisition in processing words and pictures in Turkish.

Mertan, B. and Raman, Ilhan ORCID logoORCID: (2005) The influence of age of acquisition in processing words and pictures in Turkish. In: 5th International Symposium on Bilingualism, 20-23 March 2005, Barcelona, Spain. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


The current study explored the role of orthographic transparency on written picture naming for 20 pictures in bilingual children whose first language was Turkish (L1) and second language was French (L2). The participants were 10-11 year old children and residents in France. A total of 14 children were selected from a sample of 103 and were matched on socio-economic background, age and scholastic attainment. They were allocated to two groups of seven depending on whether they received their early primary education either in Turkey or France. Each child was required to have been in the French education system for at least two years as well as attending extracurricular Turkish language classes in France. The stimulus picture names were cognates in Turkish and French with similar pronunciation and spelling in L1 and L2 (e.g., light bulb is ampul in Turkish and ampoule in French). In addition, all pictures were rated to have name agreement, familiarity and similar complexity by independent judges. In a counterbalanced design, children were instructed to write the picture names down in French and Turkish. The study was conducted in the children’s schools. An interaction between Turkish and French languages at the lexico-semantic level in bilingual children was predicted in relation to their L2 spelling proficiency. This is because while the mappings between orthography and phonology in Turkish are totally transparent and consistent, in French they are relatively opaque and inconsistent. An analysis of the spelling error data show that children educated in Turkey in their early years made more errors in French than Turkish but this did not reach statistical significance. On the contrary, children who received their early education in France made three times more errors on average in Turkish than French. The results suggest that acquisition of spelling skills in second orthography is perhaps determined by the complexity of the first orthography children are exposed to. Children who learnt the transparent Turkish orthography first, made an equal number of errors in Turkish and French despite French being more opaque than Turkish. On the other hand, children who acquired the French orthography first, struggled with Turkish despite the simple mappings between its orthography and phonology. This raises a question in relation to transferring of phonological and orthographic skills between orthographies that have distinct mappings between orthography and phonology. The current results raise a further question whether orthographic and phonological overlap are necessary to establish shared lexical entries for cognates in attaining L1 and L2 fluency in the bilingual child.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Language, Learning and Cognition group
Item ID: 7498
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Depositing User: Ilhan Raman
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2011 13:00
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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