The Role of Attrition and Input in Heritage Language Development – Deadline extended

The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to June 30th for our  two-day workshop on Heritage Language Bilingualism to be held at the University of Reading, UK, in conjunction with the First Language Attrition Seminar Series, sponsored by ESRC, and led by Monika Schmid (Essex).

Lost in Transmission? The Role of Attrition and Input in Heritage Language Development

Call for Papers:

Established scholars and early career researchers—especially postgraduate students—working on heritage language bilingualism to present research regarding the knowledge and use of heritage languages are invited to submit abstracts. A panel of expert reviewers will choose abstracts for talks—30-minute talks (20 minutes presentation plus 10 minutes discussion— and posters.

Abstracts should be a maximum of 1 page in length in Times New Roman (12 point) with an additional page possible for tables and references only. Please include the title, the name(s) of author(s) and their affiliation(s). Please submit your abstracts in both .doc(x) and .pdf format by email to by 30 June 2015. Notification of acceptance/rejection will be communicated by 30 July 2015
Keynote Speakers:

Ad Backus (University of Tilburg, the Netherlands)
Cristina Flores (University of Minho, Portugal)
Tanja Kupisch (University Konstanz, Germany)
Sharon Unsworth (Radboud University, the Netherlands)

Heritage language bilinguals are typically either first language learners of an immigrant, minority language spoken in the home or are simultaneous bilinguals of the “home” language along side the societal majority language in the parents’/community’s host country. Typically, around school age, heritage language input is significantly reduced, as they gradually shift in dominance towards the majority societal language. Research has shown that the outcomes of heritage language acquisition are often significantly different from monolingual peers, for reasons that are not entirely clear (see e.g. Montrul, in press for extensive review). Among the contributory factors that give rise to heritage speaker differences in developmental sequence and ultimate attainment are differences in the input—quality and quantity—they receive as compared to monolinguals. A major contributor to input differences is likely cross-generational attrition, that is, L1 attrition from the older generations of immigrants who provide the primary linguistic data to heritage speakers (cf. Sorace 2004; Rothman 2007). This is the second seminar in the ESRC seminar series. Our theme relates to describing and explaining (some) differences in heritage bilingual knowledge and use from a range of perspectives.


Bernhard Brehmer (Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald)
Jason Rothman (University of Reading, Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism & UiT, the Arctic University of Norway)
Jeanine Treffers-Daller (University of Reading, Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism)
Ianthi Tsimpli (University of Reading, Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism)