Exclamations are one of the means to express emotions. In written texts their functions can be resolved from the context, but in oral expressions they can be resolved from the suprasegmental units with the context. The purposes of this study are to identify Turkish learners’ status of perception of emotion-involving exclamatory expressions that are unique to Turkish, and to emphasize the importance of suprasegmental units in perceiving and expressing emotions. In this descriptive study, sentences that include emotional exclamations were vocalized by experts and tape recorded. The recordings were then listened by pre-service teachers, whose native language is Turkish, to select recordings that convey the emotional meaning the best. Based on the selected recordings, the researchers developed “The Test to Assess Foreign Learners’ Perceptions of Emotional Value of Exclamations”, and modified the test after applying it to 20 Turkish pre-service teachers. After the recordings were listened by Turkish language learners, the final version of the test was administered to 40 foreign students, of B2 level, from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University TÖMER (Turkish Learning Center), 20 of which were of Georgian origin and the remaining 20 were of Yemeni origin. The foreign students’ states of detection and identification of the functions of exclamations are determined by analyzing their answers of the test by using descriptive statistics. As results, it was found that foreign learners of Turkish at large failed to perceive different emotional values of exclamations; and that Yemeni learners’ were better at perceiving and identifying exclamations in Turkish than Georgian learners. It was suggested that language practices on emphasis and intonation would be beneficial to both native and secondary language learners of Turkish in order for them to understand exclamations properly and to express themselves using exclamations.
Teaching Turkish to Foreigners, Exclamations, Suprasegmental Units.