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Language production in a typological perspective: a corpus study of Turkish slips of the tongue

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2010
Erişen, İbrahim Özgür
The main purpose of this study is to establish a Turkish slips of the tongue (SOT) corpus and make typological comparisons with English, French and German corpora. In the first part of the study, a slips of the tongue corpus has been created. 85 podcast recordings were analyzed and 53 SOT errors were found. SOT errors were extracted from the podcasts and these audio clips were combined with their spectrograms in a flash video. Classification of SOT errors were carried out with respect to linguistic units involved, type of error, and repair behavior. In this study it is hypothesized that Turkish will have more morphological errors due to agglutination, and Turkish will have less phonological errors as vowel harmony will function as an extra control mechanism. Classification of the SOT errors with respect to linguistic units that are involved shows that 54.27% of the errors are phonological, 16.98% of errors are morphological, 13.21% of errors are lexical and 7.55% errors are phrasal. The classification with respect to error type shows that 26.42% of errors are anticipations, 30,19% of errors are perseverations, 18.87% errors are substitutions and 7.56% of errors are blends. There is a difference in the percentages of errors as compared to the other corpora. Turkish has more morphological and phonological errors. Also the data shows that there are more perseverations than anticipations, similar to German. Typological comparisons with other languages suggests that the difference in the ratio might be caused by the SOV sentence structure rather than agglutination. The first hypothesis was therefore confirmed partly. However, the second hypothesis was not supported. Vowel harmony did not function as a control mechanism on the phonological well-formedness of the utterance. Rather, it seems to be located at the level of morpho-phonology in the lexicon proper. Turkish having more phonological errors might also be related with a higher demand on working memory because of the head-final SOV sentence structure. In order to be able to draw more reliable conclusions the size of the Turkish SOT database needs to be increased.