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Heritage bilingualism

The area of heritage bilingualism has received increased attention in recent years as previous assumptions about heritage language have been challenged. Our research shifts away from the comparative framework between heritage and monolingual/L2 speakers and seeks to elucidate the unique patterns of heritage language development and use; in particular, we aim to contribute to a greater understanding of the grammatical, cognitive, and social facets of heritage bilingualism. In service of these goals, our investigation focuses on the following questions:

  1. How do heritage bilinguals use their existing linguistic systems in third language acquisition and development?
  2. What speaker-internal and external factors (e.g., language dominance, proficiency, phonological short-term memory, typological proximity, established social networks) underlie heritage bilingualism and drive subsequent language acquisition?
  3. How are sounds produced and perceived by heritage bilinguals in each of their languages at both the segmental and suprasegmental levels?
  4. How do heritage speakers process input at the phonological, morphosyntactic, lexical, and sentential levels, and how do these systems interface?

Research & Publications Heading link