Heritage speakers are native speakers of a minority language they learn at home, but due to socio-political pressure from the majority language spoken in their community, their heritage language does not fully develop. In the last decade, the acquisition of heritage languages has become a central focus of study within linguistics and applied linguistics.
This work centres on the grammatical development of the heritage language and the language learning trajectory of heritage speakers, synthesizing recent experimental research. The Acquisition of Heritage Languages offers a global perspective, with a wealth of exemples from heritage languages around the world.
- Discusses examples and studies from heritage languages all over the world.
- Provides accessible explanations of linguistic term.
- Explores the theories and research methods applied to heritage language acquisition.
List of figures page
List of tables
2 Heritage languages and heritage speakers
2.1 What is a heritage language?
2.2 Who is a heritage speaker?
2.3 Heritage language communities
2.4 Other heritage speakers
3 The language of heritage speakers
3.1 Bilingual competence in heritage speakers
3.2 The grammar of heritage speakers
3.3 Natural linguistic processes at work
4 The bilingual development of heritage speakers
4.1 Bilingual acquisition
4.2 Acquisition and mastery of a language
4.3 Language development and age
4.4 Factors affecting the language development of heritage speakers
5 Theoretical approaches
5.1 Theories of native language acquisition
5.2 Some theoretical perspectives on second language acquisition
5.3 Theoretical approaches to heritage language acquisition
6 Methodological considerations
6.1 Research methods
6.2 What is the baseline?
6.3 Unilingual versus bilingual approach
6.4 Defining and describing the population of heritage speakers
6.5 Experimental data and types of tasks
6.6 Group versus individual results in experimental studies
7 How native are heritage speakers?
7.1 Native-like ability in some heritage speakers
7.2 Non-native ability in most heritage speakers
7.3 Heritage speakers and child L1 learners
7.4 Child and adult heritage speakers
7.5 Different input?
8 Are heritage speakers like second language learners?
8.1 Differences and similarities between heritage speakers and second language learners
8.2 Heritage speakers and second language research
8.3 The role of experience in heritage and second language development
8.4 Classroom research
9 Some implications
9.1 Language sciences
9.2 Language education
9.3 Language policies