Dataverse on Heritage English
Project Leaders: Maria Polinsky (Harvard University) and Keith Plaster (Harvard University)
Although heritage languages have been an area of interest for American linguistics for a number of years, Heritage English -- a distinctly non-American phenomenon -- has not received enough attention. Heritage English is the English spoken by second-generation English speakers who grew up hearing it but who are dominant in a different language. Studies of Heritage English are aimed at identifying the main areas of syntactic, morphological, and lexical differences between this variety of English and English spoken by fully competent speakers. With this information, educators can work towards English language curricula that match the needs of these heritage speakers; linguists can move forward in better understanding grammar as viewed through the prism of a well-studied language; and cultural scholars can take another look at the role of language in bicultural development. In order to facilitate research in these areas, a collection of data on Heritage English that includes data sets from Israel and France is now available online.