Formal linguistic approaches to heritage language acquisition

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The goal of this chapter is to lay out the central themes of heritage language acquisition research adopting a formal/theoretical linguistic perspective. Specifically, we aim to provide a detailed discussion of the nature of heritage language grammars. In doing so, we will address the debates on how to explain heritage speaker competence differences from monolingual baselines and more. This chapter will not be limited to discussions of Spanish as a heritage language, but rather will highlight the important role that Spanish has played and will continue to play in the development of heritage language acquisition studies. Finally, we will offer some comments/insights on how the information covered regarding the formal linguistic properties of heritage speaker knowledge should be considered for and implemented in heritage language pedagogies and thus dealing with heritage speakers in the classroom setting.


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