Linguistics and English Language

Bilingualism and Developmental Linguistics research group

Speaker: Jiuzhou Hao (UiT The Arctic University of Norway)

Title: Heritage Language Bilingualism as a Spectrum: The case of processing Mandarin Classifiers

Abstract: Until recently, most research in heritage language bilingualism has been comparing heritage bilinguals to homeland monolinguals to document and interpret similarities and differences between the two. It is clear that heritage language grammatical competence and performance differ from homeland monolinguals in various domains of grammar. However, at the same time, heritage speakers display stark individual differences, which was largely neglected. In this talk, I will discuss the prolific nature of examining individual differences to understand how and why heritage languages develop the way they do and present a project in this line from our lab. In this project, we examined the processing of Mandarin sortal classifiers using a web-based eye-tracking experiment to explore what kind of bilingual experience factors (i.e., literacy, exposure, use) may explain individual performance in heritage speakers. Specifically, in Mandarin, the matching between classifiers and nouns is governed by both semantic categorisation and grammatical form class. We aimed to understand what factors modulated the more/less reliance on semantic/grammatical information in heritage language processing of classifiers.

Short bio: Jiuzhou is a psycho-/neuro-linguist who works on language development and processing in monolingual and bilingual children and adults with and without Developmental Language Disorders.

Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher in the Psycholinguistics of Language Representation (PoLaR) lab on the Heritage-bilingual Linguistic Proficiency in their Native Grammar (HeLPiNG) project (a multimillion-euro grant funded by the Tromsø Forskningsstiftelse (Tromsø Research Foundation), and the Aurora Research Center at UiT: The Arctic University of Norway.

In his projects, he applies various experimental methods, e.g., eye-tracking and EEG, to examine heritage language development and processing of various languages, e.g., Mandarin, Spanish, Norwegian, Farsi, and Turkish, to understand individual differences among heritage speakers. 


Please contact Aya Awwad or Chase Yang to find out specific dates for this semester and/or to be added to the mailing list. Please specify your preference of bilingualism or developmental linguistics mailing lists. We will send the information to both mailing lists.

Mar 13 2023 -

Bilingualism and Developmental Linguistics research group

2023-03-13: Heritage Language Bilingualism as a Spectrum: The case of processing Mandarin Classifiers

Room 7.18, 40 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JX; online