Chapter 8Lost in transmission?
Family language input and its role for the development of Russian as a heritage language in Germany
The paper deals with parental input and its role for heritage language maintenance by second generation speakers of Russian in Germany. Based on the data collected from one family, we investigate the realization of Voice Onset Time (VOT) in Russian by the parents and their children. Our main findings show that the children are already exposed to deviant input if compared to VOT values reported for Russian monolinguals. However, the children’s VOT values do not coincide with their parents’ patterns, but show an even stronger convergence towards German VOT measures. We conclude that individual attrition is at work for all family members, but proceeds at greater speed with the children. Parental input thus paves the way for the development of the children, but other factors come into play as well which add to the effects of parental input, for example individual processing problems of the heritage language in the case of the children.
- 1.Family language policy and heritage language development
- 2.Impact of parental input in heritage language development: Evidence from previous studies
- 3.Research questions of the present study
- 4.Participants and methods of data collection
- 5.Voice Onset Time in Russian and German
- 6.1.1Word-initial fortis stops
- 6.1.2Intervocalic fortis stops
- 6.1.3VOT in different styles
- 6.1.4Development of VOT in word-initial fortis stops over time
- 6.2Lenis stops
- 6.2.1Word-initial lenis stops
- 6.2.2Intervocalic lenis stops
- 8.Conclusions and outlook