A new look at heritage Spanish and its speakers

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In this chapter we advocate for the value of new forms of observation for characterizing the Spanish of heritage speakers in the United States. As is widely recognized, Spanish acquired in bilingual contexts is different from Spanish acquired in monolingual settings; and, yet, the nature of bilingual U.S. Spanish has not been adequately documented, even as the field of heritage language studies advances. Here, we motivate the need to more accurately describe heritage Spanish and to quantify variation in heritage Spanish speech. More importantly, we propose a means of doing so; specifically, we endorse a corpus-based approach, which allows for baselines that are vital in informing heritage Spanish research.


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