Difficulties in Acquiring Turkish Ablative by Croatian Speakers and Their Causes
Keywords:Turkish as a foreign language, Croatian language, case semantics, grammar of cases, ablative, prepositional phrases, spatial relations
In the process of teaching Turkish language to students of Turkology who have Croatian as their mother tongue, we have observed that students, while learning Turkish spatial cases (locative, dative and ablative), do not have difficulties in acquiring locative case, while ablative seems to be the most difficult to acquire. This paper aims to indicate the most frequent mistakes done by students using ablative case in spatial meanings, and to elucidate eventual causes of these mistakes by analyzing different ablative meanings and by comparing the ways of linguistic structuring of certain spatial concepts in Turkish and Croatian language. The results of the analysis show that two main factors can be considered as giving rise to difficulties in acquiring ablative: (1) the influence of grammatical and semantic structures of students’ mother tongue (Croatian) which are in a strong interrelation with the way of conceptualizing certain spatial relations, and (2) high polysemy of Turkish ablative and students’ incapability to clearly recognize motivating relations among its seemingly unrelated different meanings. We suggest that acquiring ablative uses in the process of learning Turkish as a foreign language could be rendered easier by strengthening the awareness of differences in structuring of concepts in the two languages, and by perceiving motivating relations among different meanings of ablative.