Nominal case restructuring: A case study on a Polish heritage speaker

Ewelina Barski


This research investigates incomplete acquisition and attrition in nominal case inflection in Polish heritage speakers in Canada. Incomplete acquisition found in heritage speakers occurs when there is an abrupt interruption in the input of the L1 due to lack of language contact, when the speaker becomes isolated from other speakers of the minority language, and the community language becomes the dominant language (Schmid and De Bot, 2004; Anderson, 1999). Attrition, on the other hand is observed once a grammatical aspect is fully acquired, stabilized and then lost due to an interruption in the language input. This case study followed one adult Polish heritage speaker born and raised in Canada who completed one guided production task. Results show evidence of significant language loss and a full restructuring of nominal case inflection in Polish, where the six-case system has been reconstructed to three cases with two being fully productive.


Nominal case; Grammatical gender; Polish

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Copyright (c) 2017 Ewelina Barski