[SynSem] Conférence invitée Maria Polinsky (Harvard)

Some observations on the shape of grammar in heritage languages


Conférence annulée

Conférence invitée du thème 2 Syntaxe et sémantique : Maria Polinsky (Harvard)


A heritage language speaker is defined as an L1 speaker who received limited input in later stages of L1 acquisition and who is more comfortable in another language, typically the dominant language of their society. In the past two decades, interest in heritage languages has stimulated vigorous research in this type of bilingualism, ranging from sociolinguistic investigations to in-depth investigations of heritage-language grammars. This talk will be concerned with the latter line of inquiry. A growing body of research has indicated that heritage speakers and baseline speakers (i.e. speakers of the language that serves as input in heritage-language acquisition) may differ not only in performance but also in underlying representations (so called divergent attainment). In this talk, I will present and analyze several examples of heritage/baseline differences in underlying representations and will then argue that some differences can be predicted on the basis of general principles. The proposed principles can be generalized to apply to other language contact situations that lead to divergent attainment.