Chapter published in:Dynamics of Linguistic Diversity
Edited by Hagen Peukert and Ingrid Gogolin
[Hamburg Studies on Linguistic Diversity 6] 2017
► pp. 99–121
Biscriptality and heritage language maintenance
Russian in Germany
The paper deals with the script choices made by bilingual Russian-German children when they are asked to compose texts in their Russian heritage language. Furthermore, the relationship between script choice and overall proficiency in the heritage language is investigated. We compare two different age groups of bilingual children. The analysis reveals that knowledge of the Cyrillic script is not dependent on their age upon arrival in Germany. Even those who use the Cyrillic script for writing in Russian sometimes use Latin graphemes. The appearance of Latin graphemes can be treated as an unconscious negative transfer from German, but also sometimes as a purposeful transfer to substitute for complex Cyrillic graphemes. Most of the factors used for assessing language proficiency (e.g. morphological correctness, mean length of sentences, etc.) are related to script choice, but significant effects were found only for task accomplishment.
Keywords: heritage linguistics, language maintenance, biscriptality, biliteracy, Russian-German bilingualism
Published online: 24 May 2017
Benmamoun, A., Montrul, S. & Polinsky, M.
Bialystok, E., Luk, G. & Kwan, E.
2015b The Cyrillic script as a boundary marker between “insiders” and “outsiders”: Metalinguistic discourse about script choices in Slavic-German bilingual computer-mediated communication. In Linguistic Construction of Ethnic Borders, P. Rosenberg, K. Jungbluth & D. Zinkhahn Rhobodes (eds), 55–80. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Brehmer, B. & Usanova, I.
Brehmer, B. & Kurbangulova, T.
2017. Lost in transmission? Family language input and its role for the development of Russian as a heritage language in Germany. In Integration, Identity and Language Maintenance in Young Immigrants: Russian Germans or German Russians [Impact: Studies in Language and Society 44], L. Isurin & C.M. Riehl eds 225 268 Amsterdam John Benjamins
Grießhaber, W. & Kalkavan, Z.
Hornberger, N.H. & Skilton-Sylvester, E.
Kenner, C., Kress, G., Al-Khatib, H., Kam, R. & Tsai, K.-C.
Meng, K. & Protassova, E.
Cited by 2 other publications
Usanova, Irina & Birger Schnoor
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