Identifying language impairment in monolingual and bilingual Turkish-speakingchildren with/ without developmental language disorders and hearing impairment

San N. H. , Chilla S., PİŞTAV AKMEŞE P. , Hamann C.

International Symposium on Bilingualism 12, Edmonton, Canada, 23 - 28 June 2019, pp.387-388

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Edmonton
  • Country: Canada
  • Page Numbers: pp.387-388


Children with hearing impairment (HI) and developmental language disorder (DLD) show syndromespecific deficits in grammatical morphology and syntax (Leonard, 2014; Ruigendijk&Friedmann, 2017; Marinis&van der Lely, 2007). Complex syntactic structures, such as syntactic movement and embedding are cross-linguistically shown to be problematic for children with DLD and are part of several sentence repetition tasks (Jakubowicz&Tuller, 2008; Hamann&Abed-Ibrahim, 2017). DLD markers can furthermore overlap with the interlanguage features of bilinguals in their L1 and/or L2 (e.g. Paradis et al., 2004). Monolingual DLD and HI children acquiring Turkish as L1 as well as bilingual children acquiring a heritage variety of their L1 that underwent language contact phenomena, i.e. “Immigrant Turkish” (IT, Boeschoten, 1990) show similar error patterns or problems with subordinate clauses (Piştav-Akmeşe&Acarlar, 2016; Herkenrath , 2014; Chilla&Şan, 2017).

This study focuses on the applicability of a standardized Turkish test (TELD:3-T, Topbaş&Güven, 2011) for the assessment of morphosyntactic abilities of Turkish-speaking children in monolingual and bilingual contexts, with a focus on sentence-repetition. We compare the performance of 43 bilingual children (9 with DLD) from Germany and France to that of 51 monolingual Turkish-speaking children in Turkey (16 with HI and 35 typically developing (TD) aged 5;3-8;0 yrs. on TELD:3-T (Topbaş & Güven, 2011) performance.

Discriminant analysis showed that 7/9 bilingual-DLD-children were classified as having DLD, whereas only 23/34 of the bilingual typically developing children were correctly grouped as BI-TD. In the monolingual data, all of the 16 HI and the 35 TD children were correctly classified as such. In sum, 55.9% of the original cases were correctly classified. Our data reveal that bilinguals with TD and DLD as well as monolinguals with HI struggle with complex syntactic structures. Moreover, DLD and HI show not only syndrome-specific error patterns but also a qualitative and quantitative overlap with IT children in the morphosyntactic domain.

Keywords: Language impairment; Bilingualism; Immigrant Turkish