THE INFLUENCE OF LOCALITY OR INTIMACY? A CASE STUDY ON THE ISSUE OF REFLEXIVIZATION IN TURKISH

Aybüke Uzunca

Abstract


Being distinct from other languages, Turkish has two different reflexive markers ‘’kendi’’ and ‘’kendisi’. Although both markers refer to third person singular, they cannot be used interchangeably. Especially ‘kendisi’ attracted so much attention because of its dual nature as it can be used both locally and non-locally. Nevertheless, there has not been much emphasis on ‘kendi’ since it has been assumed that ‘kendi’ can only be locally bound. Furthermore, although the issue of psychological distance (intimacy) between the speaker and the referent has been claimed to have an effect on reflexive selections, there has not been an experimental study designed before to prove this assumption. By taking all of these into consideration, this research aims to test two main issues: whether the anaphor ‘kendi’ is perceived as a strict local anaphor by native Turkish speakers and how the psychological distance (intimacy) between speaker and referent influences the way Turkish native speakers use anaphors. Within the frame of these research targets, a two-phased experimental design has been developed and applied to 65 participants in total. The age of participants differed between 17-27 years old. The first experiment was a Translation Task, whereas the second experiment was a Forced-Choice Task. After analysis of the first part, it has been concluded that although strict local anaphors are used in English sentences, the participants did not stick to the use of ‘kendi’ which is supposedly a strict local anaphor. According to the data of the second task, the results did not comply with the literature. Whereas it was expected to see ‘kendi’ in informal situations and ‘kendisi’ in formal situations, we concluded that there was no significant difference between the preferences made between ‘kendi’ and ‘kendisi’ depending on the T-test analysis.

 

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reflexivization in Turkish; kendi; kendisi; anaphora in Turkish; psychological distance and anaphora; binding theory

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References


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