Structure vs. use in heritage language

Maria Polinsky

This paper provides an overview of the phenomenon of heritage language and offers evidence in support of representational differences between (baseline) native grammars and heritage grammars, arguing that such differences that cannot be reduced entirely to the effects of processing constraints or memory limitations. Data from heritage Spanish number/gender agreement and from Russian ellipsis indicate that baseline native grammars and heritage grammars may have a fundamentally different organization of certain categories.