Syntactic restructuring in heritage grammars: Word order variation in Moundridge Schweitzer German

Holger Hopp, Michael Putnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to elucidate the structure of heritage grammars, this paper presents an analysis of word order variation in Moundridge Schweitzer German (MSG), a moribund heritage variety of German spoken in South Central Kansas. Based on elicited production data and an acceptability judgment task, we show that the current state of the MSG grammar maintains the asymmetric German verb-second (V2) and verb-final (V-final) word-ordering closely tied to specific pragmatic information associated with clause-types and complementizers. Extensive contact with English does not lead to adoption of English word order; rather, it occasions restructuring of German word order within the constraints of German syntax. We model these findings in a syntactic analysis following recent proposals by Putnam & Sánchez (2013) and Polinsky (2011) that challenge the notion of 'incomplete acquisition' as a way to conceptualize heritage language acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-214
Number of pages35
JournalLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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grammar
restructuring
language acquisition
syntax
Heritage
Syntax
Word Grammar
pragmatics
contact
German Syntax
German Grammar
Grammar
Language Acquisition
Pragmatic Information
German Word Order
English Words
Acceptability Judgments
Syntactic Analysis
Incomplete Acquisition
Complementizer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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Syntactic restructuring in heritage grammars : Word order variation in Moundridge Schweitzer German. / Hopp, Holger; Putnam, Michael.

In: Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Vol. 5, No. 2, 01.01.2015, p. 180-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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