Heritage language acquisition is a type of early bilingual acquisition that takes place in a specific sociolinguistic environment. The heritage language is a societal minority language, acquired as a first language, either by itself or simultaneously with the majority language. Very often the heritage language is not supported at school, and it is common for heritage speakers to eventually achieve greater fluency and proficiency in the majority language than in the heritage language. As a result the heritage language shows many of the linguistic characteristics of a second language. The acquisition of heritage languages has been approached from different perspectives within linguistics, bilingualism and language acquisition. This chapter considers the applicability of Processability Theory, primarily conceived to explain second language acquisition and processing, to the acquisition of heritage languages.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTeachability and Learnability across Languages
EditorsRagnar Arntzen, Gisela Håkansson, Arnstein Hjelde, Jörg-U Keßler
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262592
ISBN (Print)9789027203120
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

Publication series

NameProcessability Approaches to Language Acquisition Research & Teaching
ISSN (Print)2210-6480


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