Language contact in heritage languages 
in the Netherlands

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This paper discusses heritage languages (HLs) in the Netherlands. First, different types of motivations for the study of heritage languages in general are presented, since the type of motivation for the interest in heritage speakers has a large impact on the type of phenomenon researched. Formal, sociolinguistic, pedagogical perspectives are presented together with the perspectives of language change. Secondly, key findings in related immigrant languages research in the Netherlands are presented from various fields such as code-mixing and code-switching, loss and attrition and superdiversity. Thirdly, the initial results of a case study on the Chinese languages as heritage languages in the Netherlands are presented, concerning these languages, and sketching the recent history and trajectory of the Chinese languages in the Netherlands. It is clear that the study of the Chinese languages, but the same holds for several other HLs as well – Malay, Spanish, etc. – can best be studied from the perspective of superdiversity.


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