This chapter provides an overview of the research on semantics and related interface phenomena in heritage language grammars, focusing on three main questions: (i) whether the phenomena under investigation are subject to incomplete acquisition and/or attrition in heritage language grammars; (ii) whether heritage language grammars are subject to cross-linguistic influence from the dominant language; and (iii) whether interface phenomena are particularly vulnerable in incomplete acquisition and/or attrition. These questions are investigated in four linguistic domains that fall at the interface between syntax and semantics where there has been a substantial body of research with heritage speakers: semantics of the verbal domain, such as tense/aspect and unaccusativity; semantics of the nominal domain, such as definiteness and genericity; semantics of subject and object expression, including binding and case-marking; and quantifier semantics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics
EditorsSilvina Montrul, Maria Polinsky
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781108766340
ISBN (Print)9781108487269
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics


  • Semantics
  • quantifiers
  • differential object marking
  • case
  • binding
  • reference
  • genericity
  • definiteness
  • aspect
  • syntax/semantics interface


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