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P2: Morphosyntax and word order in majority English across heritage speakers

Shanley E. M. Allen, TU Kaiserslautern

In this project, we investigate novel grammatical patterns in the majority English productions of
heritage speakers of German, Greek, Russian, and Turkish living in the U.S. We focus on the
use of noncanonical morphosyntax and word order, highlighting structures relevant to internal
and external interfaces (inflectional morphology, articles for referent introduction, verb-object
order, movement of arguments to the left periphery). Consistent with RUEG’s overarching
approach, we assess the impact of register (informal vs. formal; spoken vs. written), age
(adolescent vs. adult), and language contact (transfer from L1 vs. general contact vs. internal
variation). Our results will contribute to our understanding of the contact-linguistic status of noncanonical
patterns in the majority English of heritage speakers, the sources of their
development, and their position within speakers’ broader repertoires of languages and registers.

Cooperation partners:

Thodoris Marinis, University of Reading
Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Johanne Paradis, University of Alberta