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A hearer-based analysis of Turkish-Azerbaijani receptive multilingual communication

Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions: Receptive multilingualism (RM), a mode of multilingual communication in which speakers of different languages use their own native language to communicate and still understand each other, is considered to be a relatively under-investigated area in multilingual research. This paper examines features of Turkish-Azerbaijani RM and, focusing on a hearer-based analysis, looks into strategies applied for achieving understanding in the receptive multilingual communication (RMC). Design/Methodology/Approach: The study is carried out within the conceptual framework of RM. Data and Analysis: Authentic data obtained from oral communication between an Azerbaijani and a Turkish native speaker are analyzed and a post-interview was conducted with the participants in order to investigate to what extent they were able to understand each other in the RMC and what strategies they applied to achieve understanding. Findings/Conclusions: The study reveals that the Turkish and Azerbaijani participants could communicate with each other in RM mode without much difficulty thanks to the typological proximity of their languages. In a few instances in which lack of understanding occurred, the participants were found to apply strategies such as asking questions for clarification, conveying confirmation, repeating, rephrasing, resorting to their lexical and world knowledge as well as utilizing the let-it-pass strategy.