Germanic Heritage Languages in North America

Acquisition, attrition and change

Janne Bondi Johannessen † | University of Oslo
ORCID logoJoseph C. Salmons | University of Wisconsin
ISBN 9789027234988 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
e-Book Open Access
ISBN 9789027268198
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This book presents new empirical findings about Germanic heritage varieties spoken in North America: Dutch, German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, West Frisian and Yiddish, and varieties of English spoken both by heritage speakers and in communities after language shift. The volume focuses on three critical issues underlying the notion of ‘heritage language’: acquisition, attrition and change. The book offers theoretically-informed discussions of heritage language processes across phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics and the lexicon, in addition to work on sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and contact settings. With this, the volume also includes a variety of frameworks and approaches, synchronic and diachronic. Most European Germanic languages share some central linguistic features, such as V2, gender and agreement in the nominal system, and verb inflection. As minority languages faced with a majority language like English, similarities and differences emerge in patterns of variation and change in these heritage languages. These empirical findings shed new light on mechanisms and processes.
[Studies in Language Variation, 18] 2015.  vi, 418 pp.
Publishing status: Available

For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at

Table of Contents
“The volume makes an excellent contribution both to the study of heritage languages and language contact, and to Germanic linguistics. While each of the articles could easily stand alone as a valuable scholarly contribution in another forum, a synergy is created from bringing them together in a single volume. The foci and methodologies of the articles are quite distinct, yet from the totality of the collection the reader emerges with a deeper understanding of the larger picture of the dynamics and the nuts-and-bolts of heritage languages in North America [...].”
“This volume provides useful empirical data and updated perspectives on languages that have often been studied as local or regional phenomena [...].”
Cited by

Cited by 21 other publications

2018. Cross-linguistic similarities and differences in bilingual acquisition and attrition: Possessives and double definiteness in Norwegian heritage language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 21:4  pp. 748 ff. DOI logo
Annick De Houwer & Lourdes Ortega
2018. The Cambridge Handbook of Bilingualism, DOI logo
Dehé, Nicole
2018. The Intonation of Polar Questions in North American (“Heritage”) Icelandic. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 30:3  pp. 213 ff. DOI logo
Dehé, Nicole & Tanja Kupisch
2022. Prepositional phrases and case in North American (heritage) Icelandic. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 45:3  pp. 254 ff. DOI logo
Eide, Kristin Melum & Arnstein Hjelde
2023. Linguistic Repertoires: Modeling Variation in Input and Production: A Case Study on American Speakers of Heritage Norwegian. Languages 8:1  pp. 49 ff. DOI logo
Fridman, Clara & Natalia Meir
2023. A Portrait of Lexical Knowledge among Adult Hebrew Heritage Speakers Dominant in American English: Evidence from Naming and Narrative Tasks. Languages 8:1  pp. 36 ff. DOI logo
Johannessen, Janne Bondi & Michael T. Putnam
2020. Heritage Germanic Languages in North America. In The Cambridge Handbook of Germanic Linguistics,  pp. 783 ff. DOI logo
Johannessen, Janne Bondi & Joseph Salmons
2021. Germanic Heritage Varieties in the Americas. In The Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics,  pp. 252 ff. DOI logo
Khamis-Dakwar, Reem, May Ahmar & Karen Froud
Kinn, Kari
2020. Stability and attrition in American Norwegian nominals: a view from predicate nouns. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 23:1  pp. 3 ff. DOI logo
Kinn, Kari
2021. Split possession and definiteness marking in American Norwegian. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 44:2  pp. 182 ff. DOI logo
Kinn, Kari & Ida Larsson
2022. Pronominal demonstratives in homeland and heritage Scandinavian. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 45:3  pp. 281 ff. DOI logo
Laleko, Oksana
2023. 5. The Roadmap of Heritage Language Research in North America. Publication of the American Dialect Society 108:1  pp. 95 ff. DOI logo
Larsson, Ida & Kari Kinn
2022. Stability and Change in the C-Domain in American Swedish. Languages 7:4  pp. 256 ff. DOI logo
Lindemann, Luke
2019. When Wurst comes to Wurscht: Variation and koiné formation in Texas German. Journal of Linguistic Geography 7:01  pp. 33 ff. DOI logo
Lohndal, Terje
2021. Syntax of Heritage Languages. In The Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics,  pp. 644 ff. DOI logo
Petersen, Jan Heegård, Gert Foget Hansen & Jacob Thøgersen
Putnam, Michael T., Tanja Kupisch & Diego Pascual y Cabo
2018. Chapter 12. Different situations, similar outcomes. In Bilingual Cognition and Language [Studies in Bilingualism, 54],  pp. 251 ff. DOI logo
van Baal, Yvonne & David Natvig
2021. Introduction to the special issue on Heritage languages & Bilingualism. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 44:2  pp. 99 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2021. Heritage Languages around the World. In The Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics,  pp. 11 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2021. Grammatical Aspects of Heritage Languages. In The Cambridge Handbook of Heritage Languages and Linguistics,  pp. 579 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFB: Sociolinguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2015020903 | Marc record