Grammatical relations and word order in Turkish sign language (TİD)

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Informatics, Cognitive Science, Turkey

Approval Date: 2006




This thesis aims at investigating the grammatical relations in Turkish Sign Language (TİD). For this aim, word order, nominal morphology, and agreement morphology of verbs are examined. TİD lacks morphological case, but it has a very rich pronominal system like other sign languages. Verbs are classified according to their morphosyntactic features. With this classification, we can observe the effect of word order and agreement morphology on the grammatical relations. Combinatory Categorial Grammar as a lexicalized grammar encodes word order, morphological case, and agreement features in the lexicon. Hence, it has the tools for testing any lexicalized basic word order hypothesis for a language based on the gapping data. Gapping data based on grammatical judgments of native signers indicate that TİD is a verb final language. Syntactic ergativity seems to be prevailing in coordination of a transitive sentence and an intransitive sentence where the single argument of the intransitive clause or one of the arguments of the transitive clause is missing. TİD also shows a tendency for ergativity in lexical properties such as agreement and pro-drop.