Differential access: Asymmetries in accessing features and building representations in heritage language grammars

Silvia Perez-Cortes, Michael T. Putnam, Liliana Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we propose that elements of heritage language grammars—both in the form of axiomatic features and larger combined representational units—are not easily lost over the course of the lifespan. This view contrasts with alternative explanations for the steady-state representation of these grammars that suggest truncated acquisition or erosion are the primary culprits of perceived language loss. In production and comprehension processes for heritage bilinguals, particular elements are more difficult to access than others, leading to differential ways to access representations and feature values. To illustrate and support this hypothesis, we build on previous work by examining the interpretation and use of obligatory mood selection in Spanish desiderative constructions in three groups of heritage speakers with different levels of language proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalLanguages
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Keywords

  • Differential access
  • Heritage speakers
  • Input vs. intake
  • Language acquisition
  • Language maintenance

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