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Kurdish adolescents acquiring Turkish: Their self-determined motivation and identification with L1 and L2 communities as predictors of L2 accent attainment



In this study, we address the particularly charged question of why young adolescent Kurds living and attending school in Turkey, where their education is conducted entirely in Turkish, acquire the accent of the regional Turkish spoken at school and in society to different degrees of native-likeness. We have chosen to study accent because previous sociolinguistic research and social views of L2 attainment have suggested accent to be the strongest marker of L2 learners' sociocultural identification (Baugh, 1999; Bongaerts, 1999; Labov, 1972; Moyer, 2004; Scovel, 1988). Moreover, we study accent because it is a salient source of linguistic profiling (Baugh, 1999), an important factor that can influence such extrinsic social rewards as access to jobs, entry into a country, housing, or membership in a group, particularly in communities that are imbued with violent conflicts. In our study, we called upon the constructs of identification with speakers of a person's first and second languages (Duff, 2002; Norton Peirce, 1995; Spolsky, 1989) and of self-determined motivational patterns (Dörnyei, 2005; Pintrich, 2003; Ryan & Deci, 2000) to help elucidate the differing degrees of success in attaining a native-like Turkish accent exhibited by Kurdish youth in a Turkish-speaking society.