Heritage Speakers: Adventures in Re-learning
A Lecture by Professor Maria Polinsky, Department of Linguistics, Harvard University
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Open to the public.
-If you speak a different (i.e., not English) language at home, you need to hear this talk to understand how your two languages work!
-If you are a bilingual or are interested in bilingualism, you will be fascinated by this talk!
-If you major in linguistics or anthropology, it's your professional call to come to this talk!
Do heritage speakers who choose to re-learn their home language as young adults have an advantage in it? The short answer is "not always". The talk will show where advantage occurs and where it is absent and will offer several explanations as to why re-learning one's childhood language is no laughing matter.
Maria Polinsky is one of the leading and most talented scholars of incomplete acquisition (i.e., heritage languages). Her work on incomplete acquisition combines the insights of theoretical linguistics with the new experimental methodologies explored by linguists as they move closer to cognitive science. Her other research interests include language universals and their explanation, comparative syntactic theory, and the expression of information structure in natural language.
This event is sponsored by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI) and the Brandeis Russian Club.