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project . 2019 - 2022 . Closed


Preservation and Adaptation in Turkish as a Heritage Language (PATH) - A Natural Language Laboratory in a Small Dutch Town
Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
European Commission
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 843131 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST Overall Budget: 214,159 EURFunder Contribution: 214,159 EUR
Status: Closed
01 Sep 2019 (Started) 28 Jul 2022 (Ended)

Understanding how languages leak into each other in the bilingual brain is a central testing ground for theories of language in the brain (which will inform all future educational policy), and also for theories of language change under contact. However, the crucial detailed information is strikingly difficult to obtain because of the massive variability in human experience. If one attempts to find generalizations in this area, one is faced with the uncertainty that the effects are not due to principled cognitive factors but to some combination of external factors of the environment and/or specific details of the particular language pairing involved, including the precise dialects in question. In addition, any changes in the development of a HL must be compared directly to the natural changes going on in that language in its native context, so that normal language change can be factored out. The exciting and unique feature of this project is that in this study we control for these factors by closely examining a particular community of residents with a Turkish background in Drunen, a small town in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands. The members of this community migrated from small towns in Rize, a province on the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey, where a unique dialect of Turkish is spoken. Influenced from Greek and Armenian (Indo-European) as well as Laz (Kartvelian), this regional variety demonstrates substantial differences from other varieties of Turkish in Turkey and is classified a separate dialect group on its own. PATH will examine a sub-dialect of this unique variety as it has been spoken by three generations of ±350 residents in Drunen to investigate how different components of grammar (phonology, lexicon, syntax) show variation and change in a bilingual setting.

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