The Berkeley Language Center
Cordially Invites You to the Upcoming Meeting of Its
Found in Translation (FIT) Working Group
New Perspectives on the ‘Incomplete Acquisition’ Debate in Heritage Language Bilingualism
Professor of Spanish, University of California, Santa Cruz
Friday, April 26, 2019
12-1 pm in B-4 Dwinelle Hall
In this presentation, I examine the use of the term ‘incomplete acquisition’ and the controversy it has generated in recent years (cf. Pascual y Cabo & Rothman, 2012; Kupisch & Rothman, 2016; Silva-Corvalán, 2018). Although the matter is a question of terminology, the debate reflects a very real dilemma in how to describe and ultimately explain heritage speakers’ language abilities. Are heritage speakers like native speakers in some ways and different in others? Is it fair to expect heritage speakers to wind up with grammars like native monolinguals? To shed light on these questions, I examine the original use of the term ‘incomplete acquisition’, the critiques against it, and the most recent line of argumentation to defend it. I will conclude by presenting my own research on innovation/creativity in Spanish, which suggests that ‘incompleteness’ is not the only outcome of heritage language acquisition.
We are a growing group of U.C. Berkeley community members interested in language, culture and cross-cultural communication. We invite you to join us! Refreshments and discussion to follow.