ON COMPLEXITY and DIVERGENCE in HERITAGE LANGUAGE GRAMMARS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For more than a decade, research on heritage speakers' (HSs') mood selection has documented a high degree of variability in their interpretation and use of mood morphology in variable contexts. Most of the previous literature, however, has focused on late-acquired alternations, and often limited analyses to one form (i.e., subjunctive), making it difficult to draw conclusions about HSs' knowledge of mood distinctions. This study intends to fill this gap by examining Spanish HSs' (n = 76) and Spanish-dominant controls' (n = 25) interpretation and use of an early acquired mood alternation, where the presence of indicative or subjunctive conveys the report of an assertion or a command. Results from two experimental tasks reveal that, even though HSs' performance tends to differ from that of controls' - especially at lower levels of proficiency - the nature and extent of their divergences suggests the need to embrace a more nuanced analysis of HSs' linguistic outcomes when examining modal contrasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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