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Heritage Languages and their Speakers
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Book description

This book provides a pioneering introduction to heritage languages and their speakers, written by one of the founders of this new field. Using examples from a wide range of languages, it covers all the main components of grammar, including phonetics and phonology, morphology and morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics, and shows easy familiarity with approaches ranging from formal grammar to typology, from sociolinguistics to child language acquisition and other relevant aspects of psycholinguistics. The book offers analysis of resilient and vulnerable domains in heritage languages, with a special emphasis on recurrent structural properties that occur across multiple heritage languages. It is explicit about instances where, based on our current knowledge, we are unable to reach a clear decision on a particular claim or analytical point, and therefore provides a much-needed resource for future research.

Reviews

‘Maria Polinsky has written a comprehensive and authoritative work that will be an indispensable point of reference for future research on heritage languages. Her book takes a very detailed look at heritage languages, but it never loses sight of a central question for all linguists: what does it mean to be a speaker of a language?'

Grant Goodall - University of California, San Diego

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