A micro analytic lens through a bilingual toddler’s interactional competence to use the negative morpheme ‘no’ as a pragmatic marker

Research Article


  • Eyüp Dilber Dicle University
  • İskender Hakkı Sarıgöz


bilingualism; conversational analysis; toddler interaction; second language acquisition


Using Conversation Analysis (CA), the present study aims at analysing the development of interactional competence of a bilingual toddler learning English in a natural setting paired with Turkish from his bilingual parents speaking English and Turkish. Specifically, the study tracks down the developmental process of the negative morpheme “no” as a pragmatic marker (PM) through the verbal and non-verbal exchanges of the toddler in both prelinguistic and linguistic phases. Through these micro social acts, this study seeks to investigate the toddler’s most frequent orientation to and deviant cases of organized talk to get at the systematicity of the early talk sequences. It has been found out that the toddler uses the negative morpheme “no” for creating various interactional functions to deliver what he intends to convey. The findings are expected to add to the contributions of widening the current perspectives of Preschool Bilingual Education, Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition (SLA). However, as CA is not theory driven, this study does not endeavour to come up with brand new hypotheses but to contribute to insights into early childhood language development considering its interdisciplinary nature.