Site Pouchet salle 221
Why Study Heritage Languages?
In this talk, I present and analyze core issues in the study of heritage languages, a relatively new area of investigation in language sciences. We will begin with the discussion of what heritage languages are: unbalanced bilinguals who grow up learning a minority language but use the dominant language of their society as adults. Such speakers are ubiquitous in modern society and studying their language offers a window on universal principles of language structure (which they follow), vulnerable domains in language (which undergo change in these speakers’ language), and principles of language reorganization. I will show that their language is constrained by strict rules of underlying grammar, not just online limitations. We will then examine areas of strength and areas of vulnerability in heritage grammars, with a special emphasis on agreement and concord phenomena. I will then discuss possible reasons for resilience and vulnerability in heritage languages and will conclude with identifying future avenues of heritage language research.