A new evidential in Turkish? The online use and interpretation of –mışımdır and –ıyorumdur marked sentences

University essay from Lunds universitet/Allmän språkvetenskap; Lunds universitet/Masterprogram: Språk och språkvetenskap

Abstract: The Turkish tense-aspect-modality system and its complexity has been the topic of many previous studies (Csato, 2000; Johanson, 2016; Slobin & Aksu, 1982) and there are many arguments on whether some of the tense-aspect-modality markers should be categorized as such in the first place, as well as what they express when used in combination with different grammatical markers. This thesis focuses on two sentence types; (i) those that have predicates marked by the primarily evidentiality marking –mış and (ii) those marked by the imperfective marking –ıyor. These predicates are also marked with the first person marker –ım and the generalizing modality marker –dır. The aim of the thesis is to explore whether or not there is a new use of such sentences on the internet, and if yes, how this new use can be described. This is based on their use on the internet that deviates from the standard desriptions in Turkish grammars (Göksel & Kerslake, 2005) of these sentences with predicates marked as such. The study further examines the influence of age, gender, education, L2 level, and social media use on the acceptability, interpretation, and use of these constructions. The method is quantiative and qualitative, using non-elicited online data and elicited data in the form of a questionnaire in order to answer the research questions. The quantitative analysis has shown that there a correlation between age, education, highest self-identified L2 level, and social media use and the perception of these constructions. Most significantly, it was found that these structures are more acceptable for younger respondents and less acceptable for older respondents. The qualitative analysis illustrated different attitudes of the respondents towards these types of sentences and their users. There were also contradictory findings regarding gender, L2 and education level, which call for further analyses of the social implications of these constructions and their use.

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