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      New Structural Patterns in Moribund Grammar: Case Marking in Heritage German

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          Abstract

          Research treats divergences between monolingual and heritage grammars in terms of performance—‘L1 attrition,’ e.g., lexical retrieval—or competence—‘incomplete acquisition’, e.g., lack of overt tense markers (e.g., Polinsky, 1995; Sorace, 2004; Montrul, 2008; Schmid, 2010). One classic difference between monolingual and Heritage German is reduction in morphological case in the latter, especially loss of dative marking. Our evidence from several Heritage German varieties suggests that speakers have not merely lost case, but rather developed innovative structures to mark it. More specifically, Heritage German speakers produce dative forms in line with established patterns of Differential Object Marking ( Bossong, 1985, 1991; Aissen, 2003), suggesting a reallocated mapping of case. We take this as evidence for innovative reanalysis in heritage grammars ( Putnam and Sánchez, 2013). Following Kamp and Reyle (1993) and Wechsler (2011, 2014), the dative adopts a more indexical discourse function, forging a tighter connection between morphosyntax and semantic properties. Moribund grammars deploy linguistic resources in novel ways, a finding which can help move us beyond simple narratives of ‘attrition’ and ‘incomplete acquisition.’

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          Most cited references 25

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          Incomplete Acquisition in Bilingualism

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            Syntactic Acquisition in Bilingual Children

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              Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                20 November 2015
                2015
                : 6
                Affiliations
                1Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, University of Wisconsin–Madison Madison, WI, USA
                2Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures, Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA, USA
                3Psychology and Sociology Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona CA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Terje Lohndal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway

                Reviewed by: Tor A. Åfarli, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; Tanja Kupisch, University of Konstanz, Germany

                *Correspondence: Joseph Salmons, jsalmons@ 123456wisc.edu

                This article was submitted to Language Sciences, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01716
                4653281
                Copyright © 2015 Yager, Hellmold, Joo, Putnam, Rossi, Stafford and Salmons.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Counts
                Figures: 3, Tables: 6, Equations: 0, References: 55, Pages: 9, Words: 0
                Funding
                Funded by: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation 10.13039/100001395
                Categories
                Psychology
                Original Research

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