We investigated the comprehension of Differential Object Marking (DOM) in Hindi heritage speakers who are second generation immigrants in the United States. In Hindi, DOM is marked with the postposition -ko, which is also a marker of dative case with indirect objects. Studies of Hindi heritage speakers have found omission of -ko with animate, specific direct objects in oral production and that speakers find omitted -ko acceptable in the same contexts in judgment tasks. The present study assessed whether the vulnerability of DOM in heritage grammars is also measurable at the level of auditory and written comprehension. In addition, we investigate whether accuracy with the comprehension of DOM relates to quantity and quality of input by controlling for age of onset of bilingualism. Thirty-eight young adult heritage speakers, 23 adult immigrants from India, and 43 Hindi speakers in India (all Hindi-English bilinguals) completed an off-line written/auditory sentence comprehension task with pictures. The results show that Hindi speakers from India and the Hindi immigrants performed largely at ceiling, whereas some heritage speakers had difficulty with DOM in comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Acquisition of Differential Object Marking
EditorsAlexandru Mardale, Silvina Montrul
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789027261090
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameTrends in Language Acquisition Research
ISSN (Print)1569-0644


  • Accusative case
  • Dative case
  • Differential Object Marking
  • Heritage speakers
  • Hindi
  • L1 attrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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