Bar-Ilan University (Organizational unit)

  • Natalia Meir (Fellow)

Activity: MembershipFellowship


The tri-annual Alon Fellowship for outstanding young faculty - Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Heritage Language (HL) grammar development: the case of Heritage Russian in contact with Hebrew; Research on Heritage Language is gradually becoming a major area of linguistics. The term “Heritage Language” (HL), also labeled “minority language” or “community language, refers to a language that is spoken at home but is not the majority language of the society (e.g., Benmamoun, Montrul, & Polinsky, 2013; Montrul, 2008; Rothman, 2009). The proposed project aims to combine linguistic theorizing and sensitive experimental methodology to develop a formal linguistic description of HL-Russian in contact with Hebrew by focusing on adult HL speakers. Studying and understanding the structure of mental grammars of HL speakers has both theoretical and practical clinical implications. On the theoretical side, HL outcome grammars pose several fundamental questions for formal theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, specifically, (i) how do these grammars differ from the “baseline” grammars of monolingual speakers and (ii) which mechanisms are associated with HL ultimate attainment. On the applied clinical side, research on adult HL grammars speakers has important implications for language pedagogy as well as for clinical assessment and intervention. Research on adult, end-state HL grammars is expected to provide insights into the nature of the linguistic input that is available to child HL speakers and will serve as a benchmark for understanding language development in child HL speakers with typical and atypical language development (e.g., Specific Language Impairment [SLI], Autistic Spectrum Disorder [ASD], Hearing Impairments).
Held atBar-Ilan University