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What linguistic advantages do heritage language speakers have over second language learners?

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What linguistic advantages do heritage language speakers have over second language learners?

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What linguistic advantages do heritage language speakers have over second language learners?

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  1. What linguistic advantages do heritage language speakers have over second language learners? Oksana Laleko (SUNY New Paltz) Maria Polinsky (Harvard) Seventh Heritage Language Research Institute Chicago, IL June 17-21

  2. HLSs and L2 learners: Acquisition scenarios • Two distinct paths to (imbalanced) adult bilingualism

  3. HLSs and L2 learners: Acquisition scenarios • Different circumstances of target language exposure • HLSs: early consecutive or sequential bilinguals who begin acquisition in a family setting (cf. early L1 leaners) • Adult L2s: late bilinguals, lg exposure in a structured setting

  4. HLSs and L2 learners: Points of convergence • Both groups display deficits in the domain of inflectional morphology and narrow syntax • E.g., case, gender, agreement, long-distance dependencies (Benmamoun et al. 2010; Montrul 2002; Montrul et al. 2008; Polinsky 1997, 2006; 2008a, b; 2011; Rothman 2007)

  5. HLSs and L2 learners: Points of convergence • Both groups exhibit difficulties with discourse pragmatics • Infelicitous linguistic choices in contexts that require discourse tracking or resolving contextual optionality (Laleko 2010; Montrul 2004, Serratrice et al. 2004; Laleko & Polinsky, 2012; in press).

  6. What we learned last year • Topic and subject marking in Japanese and Korean (Laleko & Polinsky, 2012; in press) (1) a. Sakana-wa tai-gaoisii. J fish-TOP red snapper-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, red snapper is delicious’ b. Sayngsen-un yene-kamassissta.K fish-TOP salmon-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, salmon is delicious.’

  7. What we learned last year • Topic marker: establishes discourse relations (1) a. Sakana-wa tai-gaoisii. J fish-TOP red snapper-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, red snapper is delicious’ b. Sayngsen-un yene-kamassissta.K fish-TOPsalmon-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, salmon is delicious.’

  8. What we learned last year • Nominative case marker: marks the syntactic subject (1) a. Sakana-wa tai-gaoisii. J fish-TOP red snapper-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, red snapper is delicious’ b. Sayngsen-un yene-kamassissta.K fish-TOP salmon-NOM delicious ‘Speaking of fish, salmon is delicious.’

  9. What we learned last year • 1) TOP marking is more difficult than NOM marking for both HLSs and L2 learners in Japanese and in Korean (Laleko & Polinsky, 2012; in press) • discourse > narrow syntax (Givón 1979, Koornneef 2008, Langacker 2000, Reuland2011)

  10. What we learned last year • 2) The level of proficiency in the HL matters • Higher-proficiency HLSs (Korean) > L2 learners • Lower-proficiency HLSs (Japanese) = L2 learners

  11. What we learned last year • 3) Advantages exhibited by the higher-proficiency HLSs over L2 learners are selective • Korean HLSs were overall target-like on all conditions involving NOM (syntax), • but non-target-like on TOP omissions (discourse)

  12. New Questions • What other areas of linguistic knowledge might reveal selective differences between HLSs and L2 learners?

  13. New Questions • What would these results tell us about... • language architecture? • ways to optimize classroom instruction?

  14. Phenomena to be discussed • Lower-proficiency HLSs (Japanese) • Subject honorification • Word order variations (scrambling) • Use of classifiers

  15. Phenomena to be discussed • Higher-proficiency HLSs (Korean) • Word order variations • Use of classifiers

  16. Japanese

  17. Subject Honorification • Japanese is rich in linguistic encoding of formality; multiple “polite forms” (Shibatani, 1990; Iwasaki, 2002) • Subject Honorification (SH): a formal (morpho-syntactic) way of marking the speaker’s respect for individuals who hold a socially high rank • Cf. agreement in other lgs

  18. Subject Honorification • Expressed by the verbal complex o-VERB-ninaru (2) Syachou-gadaijina -koto -o o-hanashi–ninaru President -NOM important-things-ACC HON–talk-HON ‘The president is discussing important things’

  19. Subject Honorification • Individuals judged to be worthy of respect (Harada, 1976; Shibatani, 1977). (3) a. Gakusei-ga Mary-o matu. student-NOM Mary-ACC wait ‘The student waits for Mary’ b. Sensei-ga Mary-o o-mati-ninaru. teacher-NOM Mary-ACC HON-wait-HON ‘The teacher waits for Mary’

  20. Subject Honorification • Individuals judged to be worthy of respect (Harada, 1976; Shibatani, 1977). (3) a. Gakusei-ga Mary-o matu. student-NOM Mary-ACC wait ‘The student waits for Mary’ b. Sensei-ga Mary-o o-mati-ninaru. teacher-NOM Mary-ACC HON-wait-HON ‘The teacher waits for Mary’

  21. Subject Honorification • In addition to pragmatic appropriateness, appropriate use of SH requires the linguistic knowledge of • syntax • morphology • phonology

  22. SH: Syntactic Knowledge • SH only applies to subjects! • Hence often used as a formal linguistic diagnostic of subjecthood in Japanese

  23. SH: Syntactic Knowledge (4) a. * Gakusei-gakouchousensei-o o-naguri-ninaru Student–NOM school president-ACC HON-hit-HON ‘A student hit the school president.’ b. * Dorobou-gakyouzyu -no ofisu-o o-yogoshi-ninaru thief-NOM professor–GEN office-ACC HON-dirty-HON ‘A thief broke into the professor’s office’

  24. SH: Morphological Knowledge • Obligatory morphological marking with the circumfixo-…-ni (5) Syachou-gadaijina -koto -o *(o)-hanashi-*(ni)naru president -NOM important-things-ACC HON–talk-HON ‘The president is discussing important things’

  25. SH: Phonological Knowledge • Vowel epenthesis with roots that end in consonants • verb root ends in a vowel: o-VERB-ni yame ‘quit’  o-yame-ninaru • verb root ends in a consonant: o-VERB-i-ni kak ‘write’  o-kak-i-ninaru

  26. SH: Questions for Our Study • Which aspects of the SH construction are problematic for heritage language speakers and L2 learners? • phonology • syntax • morphology

  27. SH: Questions for Our Study • In what areas, if any, might HLSs exhibit advantages over L2ers?

  28. The Study: Participants

  29. The Study: Procedure • Compared with native monolingual controls (baseline speakers), N=13 • Ratings elicited on Amazon Mechanical Turk

  30. The Study: Procedure • Sentences rated on a 1-5 scale in the following conditions: • Acceptable use • Phonological violations • Syntactic violations • Morphological violations

  31. Results • Both HLSs and L2 learners differed significantly from the baseline controls in all conditions

  32. Results • For L2 learners, all aspects of the SH construction were equally hard • For HLSs, not all aspects of the SH construction were equally hard

  33. Results: L2

  34. Results: L2 no difference

  35. Results: Heritage

  36. Results: HL (Japanese) no difference

  37. Results: Heritage ratings more accurate

  38. Subject Honorifics: Summary • For HLSs, phonological constraints appear to be the least difficult aspect of the Subject Honorification construction • morphology and syntax more problematic

  39. Subject Honorifics: Summary • Findings consistent with existing studies involving low-proficiency HLSs (Au, Knightly, Jun, & Oh, 2002)

  40. Subject Honorifics: Summary • Overall, low-proficiency HLS of Japanese as a group do not demonstrate apparent advantage over L2 learners

  41. Subject Honorifics: Summary • Possibly because the SH construction is mostly attested in formal registers, to which HLSs receive the least amount of exposure • HL =“home language,”informal colloquial styles

  42. Phenomena attested in colloquial registers • Word order variations (scrambling) • syntactic constraints • Use of classifiers • semantic and syntactic constraints

  43. Scrambling Taro bought comicsat abookstore. (6) a. Taroo-gahonya-demanga-okatta. Taro-NOM bookstore-at comic-ACC bought b. Taroo-gamanga-o honya-dekatta. Taro-NOM comic-ACC bookstore-at bought c. Manga-ohonya-deTaroo-gakatta. Comic-ACC bookstore-at Taro-NOM bought

  44. Constraints on scrambling • The verb needs to come last (7) a. *Oishisounatsukurimasyusyoku-o otouto-no-tameniTaroo-ga Deliciously make supper-ACC young brother-GEN-for Taro-NOM ‘Taro makes delicious supper for his young brother.’

  45. Constraints on scrambling Restrictions on moving subjects out of embedded clauses (7) b. *Sonokukki-ga [Misaki-gaamai to omo -tteiru] That cookie-NOM Misaki-NOM sweet that think -ING ‘Misaki thinks that cookie is sweet.’

  46. Constraints on scrambling • Case particles, conjunctions, and postpositions cannot be separated from their nouns (7) c. *To Taroo-gaHanakosugaku-o benkyou-shi-ta With Taro-NOM Hanako math-ACC study -do-past. ‘Taro studied math with Hanako.’

  47. Question for our study Do HLSs and L2 learners have the syntactic knowledge that would allow them to recognize violations on scrambling in Japanese?

  48. Scrambling: Results

  49. Scrambling: Results significant difference

  50. Scrambling: Results no difference