Perceptions and Linguistic Actions of Bilingual Speakers of Turkish and English: An Explanatory Study

Esim Gursoy, Eda Nur Ozcan


Due to the globalized world, sixty percent of world’s population is bilingual today. Such a population calls for the need to understand bilinguals from a holistic perspective since it is likely that we are surrounded by bilinguals and we are raising bilingual children. Therefore, this study investigates bilingualism from five different dimensions; their perception of bilingualism and languages as Turkish and English, prosodic features in these two languages, sense of self, biculturalism and their language choice to get an overview about bilingual speakers of Turkish and English by adopting a qualitative design. Moreover, this study is one of the few studies involving bilinguals of Turkish and English. The data was collected from 29 bilinguals through an open-ended questionnaire. In data analysis, participants were divided into two main groups as early and late bilinguals; the origins of the bilinguals were also taken into account. Bilinguals’ responses were examined by using inductive data analysis. The results show that bilingual speakers have a unique profile and they make their decisions depending on the context, culture, self-perception and sense of self. Each bilingual is found to be idiosyncratic with linguistic and non-linguistic behaviour he/she displays.


Bilingualism, Early Bilinguals, Late Bilinguals, Biculturalism, Language Choice, Linguistic Actions

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