LINGUIST List 32.349

Thu Jan 28 2021

FYI: Heritage Speaker Phonetics/Phonology

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 14-Jan-2021
From: Christine Shea <>
Subject: Heritage Speaker Phonetics/Phonology
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Languages Special Issue ''Heritage Speaker Phonetics and Phonology: Testing Models and Expanding the Range of Data''

Guest editors:
Christine Shea.
Ji Young Kim.

Language-specific phonetic/phonological development is fundamentally driven by innate learning mechanisms and is largely in place within the first year of life (Werker et al., 1981). This process is necessary for the elaboration of language-specific perceptual and production abilities that form the basis for lexical development over time. Such early language-specific specialization poses interesting questions for phonetic/phonological development in heritage language speakers, who undergo a dominance shift at some point during early childhood.

In this Special Issue, we are interested in research focusing on how speech learning models capture heritage speaker phonetic and phonological development. While current speech learning models have characterized many features of L2 (Flege, 1995; Best & Tyler, 2007, Escudero, 2005) and early bilingual development (Paradis & Genesee, 1996; Fabiano-Smith & Goldstein, 2010; Fabiano-Smith & Barlow, 2010), direct transferability of these models to the specific case of heritage language phonetic and phonological development is not necessarily straightforward since in some ways, heritage language speakers are uniquely positioned on the bilingualism continuum.

In this Special Issue, we call for contributions that focus on three primary areas of research:

(1) Testing Current L2 Speech Models: How does the role of early language-specific development play out in heritage speakers whose initial commitment was to a language that has since become non-dominant? What does this mean for speech categories and directionality of language influence and transfer?

(2) Broaden the range of heritage language experiences: In order to test models across a broader range of languages and contexts, we encourage submissions that examine heritage speakers of less-studied languages, in contexts outside of those typically considered (e.g., Chinese or Korean speakers in Latin America; Nahuatl/Mayan/Zapotec in Mexico and Central America; Quechua/Aymara in South America; Navajo in the United States; Aboriginal languages in Australia). It is well-recognized that sociolinguistic factors such as language prestige and community social cohesion play a role in heritage language maintenance (Velázquez et al., 2015). How do these factors affect the production and perception of heritage languages?

(3) Perception and Production links: Finally, because perception and production are so closely coupled, we also welcome research that covers the connection between them (Kim, 2020).

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors (; and to /Languages/ editorial office ( Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the special issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

The tentative completion schedule is as follows:

Abstract submission deadline: 1 March 2021
Notification of abstract acceptance: 1 April 2021
Full manuscript deadline: 15 August 2021

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Phonology

Page Updated: 28-Jan-2021