Bilingualism research group
Speaker: Vicky Chondrogianni (University of Edinburgh)
Title: Individual differences in child heritage language acquisition
Abstract: Child heritage speakers are bilingual speakers who are exposed to their native minority heritage language (HL) under reduced input conditions and under pressure from the majority societal language (ML). Unlike monolingual speakers, heritage speakers display great variability in their rate of acquisition and the level of HL attainment. As such, HL development offers a unique opportunity to investigate how individual factors contribute to native language acquisition of specific linguistic phenomena in bilingual contexts. In this talk, I present results from a study with Greek heritage children residing in New York City (US) and Western Canada. The study was carried out in collaboration with Lila Daskalaki at the University of Alberta. In this study, we examined the interplay between amount of HL use, HL richness and the child’s generation of immigration. We also examined how these exposure factors as well as the child’s age of exposure to the ML and at the time of testing modulated the production of vocabulary and morphosyntax. We discuss the results in light of accounts of bilingual language development.
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