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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2022

Silvina Montrul
Affiliation:
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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Summary

Native Speakers, Interrupted aims to advance our understanding of heritage language development and change. It is argued that heritage language speakers also qualify as potential agents of diachronic language change of the diasporic variety of their language in the language contact situation. Heritage speakers are early bilinguals born with the cognitive ability to learn two or more languages fully and indeed retain native ability in specific grammatical areas of the heritage language due to their early exposure to the language. They are native speakers because exposed to their home language from birth implicitly in a naturalistic setting, in a family environment where the language was spoken. However, insufficient input and infrequent use of the heritage language during late childhood and adolescence interrupts the healthy development of the heritage language, profoundly affecting heritage speakers’ command of specific aspects of their grammar, such as vocabulary, morphosyntax and other linguistic interfaces. What is interrupted in this case is not the language as a whole, as several have proposed, but the individual language acquisition process itself, so that specific aspects of the heritage language, in some individuals, in some languages, and under some circumstances, show significant synchronic variability.

Type
Chapter
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Native Speakers, Interrupted
Differential Object Marking and Language Change in Heritage Languages
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Book: Native Speakers, Interrupted
  • Online publication: 15 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316459690.002
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  • Introduction
  • Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Book: Native Speakers, Interrupted
  • Online publication: 15 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316459690.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Book: Native Speakers, Interrupted
  • Online publication: 15 December 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316459690.002
Available formats
×