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TERMINOLOGY MATTERS ON THEORETICAL GROUNDS TOO!: COHERENT GRAMMARS CANNOT BE INCOMPLETE

  • Fatih Bayram (a1), Tanja Kupisch (a2), Diego Pascual y Cabo (a3) and Jason Rothman (a4)

Abstract

Herein, we provide counterargumentation to some of Domínguez, Hicks, and Slabakova's claims that the term incomplete acquisition is conceptually necessary on theoretical grounds for describing the outcome grammars of heritage language bilingualism. Specifically, we clarify their claim that previous challenging of the term in our and others’ work is primarily based on a misconceived belief that incompleteness is intended to describe heritage speakers. We contextualize and problematize their appropriation of descriptive constructs in the adjacent fields of child L1, child 2L1, and adult L2 acquisition as a basis for supporting their general thesis. Relatedly, we conclude that a fundamental blurring of development and ultimate attainment issues is at the core of what, in our view, is flawed reasoning. While we empathize with the well-intentioned spirit of Domínguez et al.’s article—to provide a forum for respectful discussion—we invite the field to engage more directly with the inherent quandary of labeling the coherent grammars of heritage bilinguals in their own right as “incomplete” on the basis of differences to standard varieties.

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Fatih Bayram has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 799652.

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References

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