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Heritage Languages Around the World
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We are pleased to announce the International Conference on Heritage Languages around the world, which will take place at the University of Lisbon as a joint initiative of the Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho, the Portuguese Program and the Heritage Language Research Group at UMass Amherst. This initiative is also supported by Camões. Instituto da Coperação e da Língua and the recently created European Heritage Language Conso

5/21/2020 to 5/22/2020
When: May 21-22, 2020
Where: University of Lisbon

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In the last two decades, Heritage Languages have received growing attention, both in the field of bilingualism studies and in research concerned with the preservation and revitalization of endangered languages. They have been under the scrutiny of linguists, especially of those working on bilingual language acquisition and on sociolinguistics, as well as language policy makers, language activists, and researchers in education. For linguists interested in bilingualism, heritage speakers represent not only a large part of the bilingual population, but also a case in which it is possible to study the effects of different amounts of exposure and of crosslinguistic influence on a population in which birth is maintained as the age of onset for the heritage language. From the viewpoint of sociolinguistics, heritage languages raise several questions, including which conditions determine linguistic preservation or attrition, or the significance of the fact that heritage speakers are often exposed to only a non-standard variety of the heritage language. Finally, in the area of studies on endangered languages, an important focus has been placed on strategies for the revitalization of heritage languages as a means to preserve linguistic diversity.

The recognition of the specificities of heritage speakers and heritage languages in multilingual societies is what justifies the relevance of the topic for policy makers and for researchers interested in language education and language policies.

The main goal of this conference is to bring together various research perspectives on heritage languages in order to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of language development and education in immigrant and minority language communities around the world.

Conference: May 21-22, 2020

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