Transfer of conceptualisation patterns in bilinguals: The construal of motion events in Turkish and German

Daller, M. and Treffers-Daller, J. (2011) Transfer of conceptualisation patterns in bilinguals: The construal of motion events in Turkish and German. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14 (1). pp. 95-119. ISSN 1366-7289 Available from:

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In the present paper we provide evidence for the occurrence of transfer of conceptualisation patterns in narratives of two German-Turkish bilingual groups. All bilingual participants grew up in Germany, but only one group is still resident in Germany (n=49). The other, the returnees, moved back to Turkey after having lived in Germany for thirteen years (n=35). The study is based on the theoretical framework for conceptual transfer outlined in Jarvis and Pavlenko (2008) and on the typology of satellite-framed and verb-framed languages developed by Talmy (1985, 1991, 2000a and 2000b) and Slobin (1987, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006). In the present study we provide evidence for the hypothesis that language structure affects the organisation of information structure at the level of the Conceptualiser, and show that bilingual speakers’ conceptualisation of motion events is influenced by the dominant linguistic environment in both languages (German for the group in Germany and Turkish for the returnees). The returnees follow the Turkish blueprints for the conceptualisation of motion, in both Turkish and German event construals, whereas the German-resident bilinguals follow the German blueprints, when speaking German as well as Turkish. We argue that most of the patterns found are the result of transfer of conceptualisation patterns from the dominant language of the environment.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article © Cambridge Universty Press (CUP)
Uncontrolled Keywords:thinking for speaking, transfer, second language acquisition, motion event construals, Turkish-German bilinguals
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education
ID Code:11793
Deposited By: A. Lawson
Deposited On:17 Sep 2010 11:04
Last Modified:03 Dec 2016 00:01

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