Processing grammatical evidentiality and time reference in Turkish heritage and monolingual speakers
In the current study, we examined how adult heritage and monolingual speakers of Turkish process evidentiality (the linguistic expression of information source) through finite verb inflections and time reference, expressed on non-finite participles. A sentence-verification task was used to measure participants’ sensitivity to evidentiality and time-reference violations in Turkish. Our findings showed that the heritage speakers were less accurate and slower than the monolinguals in responding to both evidentiality and time-reference violations. Also, the heritage speakers made more errors and had longer RTs when responding to evidentiality violations as compared to time-reference violations. The monolinguals had longer RTs (and more accurate responses) to time reference than to evidentiality violations. This study shows that evidentiality is susceptible to incomplete acquisition in Turkish heritage speakers. It is suggested that the requirement for simultaneous processing at different linguistic levels makes the evidentiality markers vulnerable.