Chapter published in:Hispanic Contact Linguistics: Theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives
Edited by Luis A. Ortiz López, Rosa E. Guzzardo Tamargo and Melvin González-Rivera
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 22] 2020
► pp. 62–81
Methodological considerations in heritage language studies
A comparison of sociolinguistic and acquisition-based tasks
This study examines accuracy of heritage speakers with respect to gender agreement of noun phrase (NP) constituents. How does methodology affect participants’ accuracy with gender agreement (GA)? Methods employed include an acquisition-based task, and the sociolinguistic interview used in four groups: children who access heritage language (HL) in school and in social network (SN); children who access HL only in SN; children who access Spanish only at school; and finally, children who access Spanish neither in school nor in SN. Three groups showed comparable accuracy in sociolinguistic interviews and acquisition task. For the group that did not access Spanish at school/home, the accuracy was higher on a sociolinguistic task (98.61%) compared to acquisition task (73%). Different methodologies yielded different rates of accuracy. Methods influence the participants’ task accuracy.
Keywords: heritage language, language contact, child bilingualism, methodology, gender agreement
Published online: 14 February 2020
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