An Ergative Intervention in Heritage Samoan

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2017-09-01
Authors
Muagututia, Grant
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
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2017
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Ergativity has been shown to be a fragile feature that is often disproportionately lacking in the grammar of heritage speakers (Dyribal, Schmidt 1985; Hindi, Montrul et al. 2012). The current paper presents two studies investigating morphological and syntactic ergativity in Samoan heritage language. The first study measured the rate at which heritage speakers produce ergativity, while the second probed the question of whether an increase in ergative features could be induced through carefully targeted intervention. The results revealed that although heritage speakers initially lacked key ergative features, following the intervention, a significant increase and extension in both morphological and syntactic ergative features was observed. These findings potentially carry important implications for not only linguistic theory (i.e., language development), but also language revitalization and maintenance (i.e., pedagogical methodology).
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linguistics
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Muagututia, Grant. 2017. An Ergative Intervention in Heritage Samoan. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 48(6).
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Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License
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