Memet Aktürk Drake


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D 458
Postal address Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My main research interest is language contact, especially its effects on heritage languages. I have published on loanword phonology and heritage-language phonology. Currently, I am working on Turkish maintenance and bilingualism among second-generation Turks in Western Europe from an integration and language-policy perspective. A further research interest of mine is historical sociolinguistics, especially the impact of modernity on societal multilingualism. I have written and taught on the history of multilingualism and linguistic diversity in Constantinople.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Memet Aktürk-Drake.

    This paper investigates how linguistic competence and sociolinguistic incentive contribute to the preference for adopting illicit onset clusters in established loanwords in Turkish. The participants are English-Turkish bilinguals in Turkey and Swedish-Turkish bilinguals in Sweden. Competence is measured through second-language pronunciation and incentive is operationalised through second-language dominance and degree of Turkish use. The data comprise French and English loanwords that are embedded in an oral fill-in-the-blanks test and that have phonetically similar counterparts in English and Swedish. The results show that the bilinguals in Sweden have significantly higher cluster adoption rates than the bilinguals in Turkey due to an overlap of high competence and high incentive in the Swedish context where Turkish is a minority language. Statistical analyses show that incentive has greater impact than competence in this sample.

  • 2017. Memet Aktürk Drake. International Journal of Bilingualism 21 (5), 584-599

    The aim of this paper is to examine the role of language dominance in loanword phonology. It is investigated how onset clusters in loanwords are integrated into Turkish by two groups: English-Turkish bilinguals in Turkey and Swedish-Turkish bilinguals in Sweden. It is hypothesised that the bilinguals in Sweden will display significantly higher rates of cluster adoption because Turkish is not the dominant language there.

    The data were collected through an oral loanword elicitation task, a text recitation task in the second languages and a questionnaire on language proficiency and use.

    The study had 53 participants (24 in Turkey and 29 in Sweden). The material consisted of 29 loanwords from English and French, and of 50 structurally comparable words in the bilinguals’ second languages. The data were analysed auditively by the author and subjected to an interrater reliability test.

    The results confirmed the hypothesis as the bilinguals in Sweden displayed significantly higher cluster adoption rates. The difference between the groups’ medians was 36.5 percentage points. Furthermore, it was shown that in individual speakers the combination of accurate second-language pronunciation, and clearly higher proficiency in the second language (corresponding to the donor language) compared to the L1 (i.e. the recipient language) guaranteed very high cluster adoption rates.

    This paper provides the first rigorous quantitative proof for the theoretical assumption that accurate pronunciation is not sufficient for structural adoption in loanword phonology but needs to be complemented with sociolinguistic variables. Furthermore, it demonstrates in greater detail than before how societal and individual dominance are connected and through which channels they impact loanword integration.

    Self-reported relative proficiency in the donor language was shown to be a powerful predictor of the sociolinguistic incentive to adopt and could therefore be used as a quick and reliable alternative to elaborate and time-consuming attitude investigations in loanword phonology.

  • 2017. Memet Aktürk Drake. Migration from Turkey to Sweden
  • 2015. Memet Aktürk-Drake, Niclas Abrahamsson, Sarah Thomason.

    In the phonological integration of loanwords, the original structures of the donor language can either be adopted as innovations or adapted to the recipient language. This dissertation investigates how structural (i.e. phonetic, phonological, morpho-phonological) and non-structural (i.e. sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic) factors interact in determining which of these two integration strategies is preferred. Factors that affect the accuracy of the structure’s perception and production in the donor language as a result of its acquisition as a second language are given special consideration. The three studies in the dissertation examine how the same phonological structure from different donor languages is integrated into the same recipient language Turkish by two different types of initial borrowers: elite bilinguals in Turkey and heritage bilinguals in Sweden. The three investigated structures are word-final [l] after back vowels, long segments in word-final closed syllables, and word-initial onset clusters. The main hypothesis is that adoption will be more prevalent in heritage bilinguals than in elite bilinguals. Four necessary conditions for adoption are identified in the analysis. Firstly, the donor-language structure must have high perceptual salience. Secondly, the borrowers must have acquired the linguistic competence to produce a structure accurately. Thirdly, the borrowers must have sufficient sociolinguistic incentive to adopt a structure as an innovation. Fourthly, prosodic structures require higher incentive to be adopted than segments and clusters of segments. The main hypothesis is partially confirmed. The counterexamples involve either cases where the salience of the structure was high in the elite bilinguals’ borrowing but low in the heritage bilinguals’ borrowing, or cases where the structure’s degree of acquisition difficulty was low. Therefore, it is concluded that structural factors have the final say in the choice of integration strategy.

  • 2014. Memet Aktürk-Drake. Lingua 143, 162-186

    This paper investigates how bilingual borrowers integrate originally long vowels and consonants in loanwords from Arabic and Swedish into Turkish in illicit positions. Both historical corpus data and data from an elicitation task are used. The main focus is on the role of perceptual salience and the choice between adaptation and adoption as different integration strategies. The results show that length is accurately perceived in both cases of borrowing due to the particular linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts of second language acquisition. Phonologically long Arabic vowels and consonants as well as not phonologically but phonetically long Swedish vowels with high salience are adopted as innovations by the bilingual borrowers. The latter adoption confirms that the input to loanword integration is not phonological but phonetic in nature, i.e. the surface form. Phonologically long Swedish consonants with low salience due to short duration are, instead, adapted through shortening. This adaptation is done in production through a process called filtering in with the help of feedback from perception. The paper proposes that perceptual salience plays an important role not only in monolingual but also in bilingual borrowing by concluding that high perceptual salience is necessary but not sufficient for adoption in bilingual borrowing.

  • 2010. Memet Aktürk-Drake. Turkic languages 14 (2), 153-191

    This article investigates the phonological integration of the front coda /l/ after a back vowel in the final rime of words borrowed from Arabic and Swedish into Turkish. This original donor structure is interesting because it in conflict with the core rules of Turkish phonology. Several sub-disciplines of linguistics have dealt with the role of different phonological and sociolinguistic factors in the phonological integration of lexical borrowings but there is no consensus on their respective weights in borrowing and on how their interaction is to be conceptualised. The Arabic data in the study are based on historical loanwords while the Swedish data have been obtained through an experiment. The focus of the article is the choice between adoption and adaptation as integration strategies and how different factors interact in producing the attested integration patterns. The results show that adoption is predominantly preferred to adaptation in both cases due to the dominant status of the donor languages in the contexts of borrowing. Hence, it is argued that sociolinguistic factors play the main role in these two particular cases.

Show all publications by Memet Aktürk Drake at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 21, 2019

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