Children Prefer Natives, a study on the transmission of a heritage language; Standard Breton, Neo-Breton and traditional dialects
Melanie Jouitteau
July 2018

I present a linguistic effect by which heritage language speakers over-represent traditional input in their acquisition system. I propose that native young adults children of the missing link generation disqualify the input of insecure L2 speakers of Standard and prefer the input of linguistically secure speakers in the making of their own generational variety. Given the socio-linguistics of Breton, this effect goes both against statistical and sociological models of acquisition because speakers disregard features of Standard Breton, which is the socially valorised variety accessible to them and valued by school and media. I detail three case paradigms where grammars of native young adults present features of traditional dialects for which they had very rare input, together with consistent counter-influence in both Standard Breton or French. The article provides baselines for the investigation of the syntax of the generation of Breton speakers who received full Breton schooling in immersion schools. It shows that influence from both Standard Breton and French is not incompatible with native-like properties in their Breton syntax.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003988
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: 2018, Maria Bloch and Mark Ó Fionnáin (eds.), Centres and Peripheries in Celtic Linguistics, Lublin, Peter Lang, 75-108..
keywords: heritage language, acquisition, celtic, breton, transmission, syntax, bilingualism, standard, collective nouns, singulatives, agreement, complementarity effect, impersonals, nativeness
previous versions: v2 [June 2018]
v1 [January 2018]
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