Talk Suzanne Aalberse & Francesca Moro 8th July

On Monday 8 Juy at 15:00 uur we will have our final BIMU lecture of this academic year. The room is 0.19 at Trans 10 (A.W.de Grootkamer):

Stability in form and function; the case of Mandarin and Malay heritage speakers in the Netherlands
Suzanne Aalberse & Francesca Moro
Radboud University

This talk discusses forms of stability in the speech of heritage speakers of Chinese and Malay in the Netherlands. Heritage speakers speak a language at home that is not the dominant language of the country. In our case Malay and Chinese are spoken at home while the dominant language of the speakers is Dutch. Changes in heritage languages are often related to the fact that heritage speakers use the heritage languages in a limited number of situations (eg home, church), use the language only in informal registers and to effects of transfer of the dominant language.
Rather than focusing on change we will focus on stability in heritage speakers. What parts of the language are stable and why? We will discuss stability in form on the basis of the use of the progressive marker ada and the determiner –nya in heritage Malay. Stability in function is described with sortal classifiers in heritage Chinese as a case study. Stability both in form and in function is related to the absence of grammaticalization in heritage Malay. We conclude with a discussion of factors that promote stability in cases of language contact.