[PS-1.59] Processing Grammatical Evidentiality by Bashkir-Russian Bilinguals

Khudyakova, M. 1 , Laurinavichyute, A. 1, 2 & Dragoy, O. 1

1 National Research University Higher School of Economics
2 University of Potsdam

Bashkir is a Turkic language with more than a million speakers living in Russia. Unlike Russian, Bashkir has evidentiality category with different markers for firsthand and nonfirsthand information in past verb tenses.
To examine attrition of the evidentiality category in Bashkir-Russian bilinguals resulting from extensive exposure to Russian language (L2) we conducted a self-paced reading experiment in two groups of participants: the Bashkir-dominant group (N=9, mean age=42) reported Bashkir as a primary language for daily communication, while the Russian-dominant group (N=18, mean age=25) reported using Russian for more than 70% of the time.
Every experimental item consisted of a context and a target clause. We crossed two factors: context type (information about presence of the speaker at the scene) and target clause type (evidential type of the verb form). Participants were asked to read sentences and provide grammaticality judgement.
In the Bashkir-dominant group the relationship between context type and target type significantly affected reaction times, increasing the reaction times in the mismatch conditions. In the Russian-dominant group we found no significant differences between match and mismatch conditions.
Our finding suggests that extensive use of the Russian language results in attrition of grammatical evidentiality in Bashkir-Russian bilinguals.