Language-general vs. language-specific processes in Turkish-Flemish bilingual children’s early language development

Start - End 
2014 - 2016 (ongoing)
Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication
Research Focus 



This project aims to investigate Turkish-Flemish bilingual children’s early language acquisition phases andto explore the trajectories in their early lexical growth which are predictors of their later languagedevelopment. We will focus on Turkish-Flemish bilingual children’s early language period especially interms of two syntactic categories; namely, nouns and verbs because these two major word classes areregarded as fundamental categories of lexical development both cognitively and linguistically. Moreover;they are the lexical units which categorically highlight language general and language specificcharacteristics. Not only as linguistic categories but also cognitive representations of nouns and verbs aresignificant to consider in terms of acquisition of early lexicon. Also, the differences of typologicalcharacteristics between Turkish and Dutch are so striking in terms of nouns and verbs. This project will alsoprovide a research atmosphere to compare Turkish and Flemish monolinguals into their Turkish-Flemishbilingual peers. As well as these language-based objectives in the project; methodologically, this researchaims to utilize a very fruitful data collection tool, which is CDI –Communicative Development Inventory-, inbilingual language acquisition field. To conclude, through this project, we will shed light on bilingualismbackground of Turkish-Flemish children, about whom relatively little is known in Flanders though theyoccupy a big share in the community by means of a very popular research tool, CDI in language acquisitionfield.




Steven Gillis

Antwerp University