Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions: This paper investigates the effects of Dutch on the tense-aspect system of heritage Ambon Malay, a variety spoken by Dutch-Ambon Malay bilinguals in the Netherlands. The study asks whether the cross-linguistic contrasts between the two languages – Dutch obligatorily marks past/non-past and finiteness, whereas Ambon Malay lacks a grammaticalized expression of these distinctions – has an effect on the aspectual system of heritage Ambon Malay. Design/Methodology/Approach: The database for the study consists of video descriptions provided by 32 bilingual speakers (the experimental groups) and by three control groups: 27 homeland speakers of Ambon Malay, 5 first generation speakers of Ambon Malay in the Netherlands (late bilinguals), and 10 monolingual speakers of Dutch. Data and Analysis: The frequency and distribution of aspect markers is analysed statistically in the four groups. Findings/Conclusions: The analysis of the data reveals that, under the influence of Dutch, the Ambon Malay progressive marker ada has undergone a shift in temporal status and frequency and it is now interpreted as a marker of present tense, as well as of progressive aspect. The other two aspect markers, the iamitive/perfective su and verbal reduplication (iterative) are used significantly less by heritage speakers. Originality: This study shows that when a grammatical category is present and productive in the dominant language of a bilingual heritage speaker, but not in the heritage language, there is a great likelihood that it will undergo contact-induced grammaticalization, even in a relatively short time contact situation. The study also shows that input-related factors, such as transparency and phonological salience, contribute to the (in)stability of aspectual forms in the heritage language. Significance/Implications: This finding has implication for the incomplete acquisition perspective on heritage languages, which sees these languages as grammatically simplified systems (see, e.g., Montrul, 2009; Polinsky, 2008), because it shows that heritage languages can also gain grammatical distinctions previously absent in the (homeland) language.

Aspectual distinctions in Dutch-Ambon Malay bilingual heritage speakers

Moro F
2017

Abstract

Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions: This paper investigates the effects of Dutch on the tense-aspect system of heritage Ambon Malay, a variety spoken by Dutch-Ambon Malay bilinguals in the Netherlands. The study asks whether the cross-linguistic contrasts between the two languages – Dutch obligatorily marks past/non-past and finiteness, whereas Ambon Malay lacks a grammaticalized expression of these distinctions – has an effect on the aspectual system of heritage Ambon Malay. Design/Methodology/Approach: The database for the study consists of video descriptions provided by 32 bilingual speakers (the experimental groups) and by three control groups: 27 homeland speakers of Ambon Malay, 5 first generation speakers of Ambon Malay in the Netherlands (late bilinguals), and 10 monolingual speakers of Dutch. Data and Analysis: The frequency and distribution of aspect markers is analysed statistically in the four groups. Findings/Conclusions: The analysis of the data reveals that, under the influence of Dutch, the Ambon Malay progressive marker ada has undergone a shift in temporal status and frequency and it is now interpreted as a marker of present tense, as well as of progressive aspect. The other two aspect markers, the iamitive/perfective su and verbal reduplication (iterative) are used significantly less by heritage speakers. Originality: This study shows that when a grammatical category is present and productive in the dominant language of a bilingual heritage speaker, but not in the heritage language, there is a great likelihood that it will undergo contact-induced grammaticalization, even in a relatively short time contact situation. The study also shows that input-related factors, such as transparency and phonological salience, contribute to the (in)stability of aspectual forms in the heritage language. Significance/Implications: This finding has implication for the incomplete acquisition perspective on heritage languages, which sees these languages as grammatically simplified systems (see, e.g., Montrul, 2009; Polinsky, 2008), because it shows that heritage languages can also gain grammatical distinctions previously absent in the (homeland) language.
journals.sagepub.com/home/ijb
Ambon Malay; aspect; bilingualism; contact-induced grammaticalization; Dutch; heritage language; progressive marker
Moro, F
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/2087394
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