Heritage bilingualism and the acquisition of English as a third language

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2020
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This PhD thesis investigates patterns of crosslinguistic influence (CLI) in the acquisition of English as a third language (L3) across two grammatical domains, namely perceived global accent (phonetics/phonology) and embedded wh-questions (syntax). We examine 21 adult-aged early bilingual speakers in their three languages, namely Italian (the heritage language; HL), German (the majority language), and English (the L3), comparing their perceived accent and syntactic judgements to those of L1 and L2 control groups. By comparing patterns of CLI across the domains of phonology and syntax within the same population of speakers, the thesis responds to recent calls for studies that systematically assess patterns of transfer across multiple domains of the grammar (e.g., Rothman, González Alonso & Puig-Mayenco, 2019), while at the same time controlling for the acquisition of the relevant properties in the background languages. In addition, the thesis brings to the field insights from an understudied population: heritage speaker L3 learners. Not only are heritage bilinguals interesting from a theoretical perspective since they have two early-acquired language systems to draw from, but they also make up an increasingly large proportion of students in foreign language classrooms worldwide. In order to investigate the extent to which the HL – as the non-dominant language – can also affect the L3, a secondary aim of the thesis is to shed light on the role of HL proficiency and HL use for the occurrence of CLI, as well as for outcomes in the HL itself.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
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Third language acquisition, heritage language, early bilingualism, phonology, syntax
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ISO 690LLOYD-SMITH, Anika, 2020. Heritage bilingualism and the acquisition of English as a third language [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz
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@phdthesis{LloydSmith2020Herit-51056,
  year={2020},
  title={Heritage bilingualism and the acquisition of English as a third language},
  author={Lloyd-Smith, Anika},
  address={Konstanz},
  school={Universität Konstanz}
}
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March 6, 2020
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Konstanz, Univ., Diss., 2020
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