Heritage Languages: In the 'Wild' and in the Classroom
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CitationPolinsky, Maria, and Olga Kagan. 2007. Heritage languages: In the 'wild' and in the classroom. Language and Linguistics Compass 1(5): 368-395.
AbstractHeritage speakers are people raised in a home where one language is spoken who subsequently switch to another dominant language. The version of the home language that they have not completely acquired – heritage language – has only recently been given the attention it deserves from linguists and language instructors. Despite the appearance of great variation among heritage speakers, they fall along a continuum based upon the speakers' distance from the baseline language. Such a continuum-based model enables researchers and instructors to classify heritage speakers more accurately and readily. This article discusses the results of research on lower-proficiency speakers, identifying recurrent features of heritage languages in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Preliminary results indicate that different heritage languages share a number of structural similarities; this finding is important for the understanding of general processes involved in language acquisition. The article also presents implications of the main findings for language education and identifies areas needing further study.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3382973
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