Wednesday Seminar: The development of subject position in Dutch-dominant heritage speakers of Spanish: From age 9 to adulthood
PhD Fellow Elisabet García González (MultiLing) will give a talk on the results of her MA thesis, which is part of a larger project investigating different age groups of heritage speakers of Spanish in The Netherlands, as well as age-matched monolinguals.
This exploratory study investigates the knowledge of word order in intransitive sentences by heritage speakers of Spanish of different age groups: 9-year-olds, 13-year-olds and adults. The inclusion of school-age children and adolescents offers a much needed perspective on the the limited body of research in heritage language literature that widely focuses on adults or preschool children. The results from a judgment task reveal that child- and adolescent heritage speakers do not entirely resemble monolingual age-matched children in the acquisition of subjects in Spanish, nor do they assimilate adult heritage speakers. The findings suggest that several different processes simultaneously affect the acquisition of word order in heritage speakers including reduced input in the heritage language, schooling and cross-linguistic influence from the majority language.
Elisabet Garcia Gonzalez is a PhD student at MultiLing, and a member of the Research Group in Clinical Linguistics and Language Acquisition. Her project is connected to MultiLing's socio-cognitive lab. She has a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the Autonomous University of Madrid, and an MA in General Linguistics and a research MA in Linguistics with a focus on language acquisition, both from the University of Amsterdam.