Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Acquisition of Heritage Languages


  • Date Published: December 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107007246

£ 89.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Heritage speakers are native speakers of a minority language they learn at home, but due to socio-political pressure from the majority language spoken in their community, their heritage language does not fully develop. In the last decade, the acquisition of heritage languages has become a central focus of study within linguistics and applied linguistics. This work centres on the grammatical development of the heritage language and the language learning trajectory of heritage speakers, synthesizing recent experimental research. The Acquisition of Heritage Languages offers a global perspective, with a wealth of examples from heritage languages around the world. Written in an accessible style, this authoritative and up-to-date text is essential reading for professionals, students, and researchers of all levels working in the fields of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, education, language policies and language teaching.

    • Discusses examples and studies from heritage languages all over the world
    • Provides accessible explanations of linguistic terms
    • Explores the theories and research methods applied to heritage language acquisition
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Montrul's The Acquisition of Heritage Languages pushes the frontier of this emerging field in language science, offering a roadmap beyond monolingual acquisition to explore how we learn, lose, and relearn languages.' Terry Au, University of Hong Kong

    'Heritage languages are an integral part of modern society. Studying them in depth allows us to have a better understanding of language in general, of culture, and of an individual. In this pioneering book, Silvina Montrul gives heritage languages the recognition they deserve.' Maria Polinsky, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'While covering the most recent theoretical and empirical advances in the study of heritage languages, this book has direct implications for language teaching. I expect it to become a foundational work not only for researchers but also language practitioners.' Olga Kagan, Director, Title VI National Heritage Language Resource Center, University of California, Los Angeles

    'As one of the leading experts on the acquisition of heritage languages, Montrul here gives us a crucial insight into the key linguistic concepts of bilingual learning scenarios across the lifespan. Although her focus is on universal and language specific linguistic processes and constraints, she also discusses their interaction with social and situational factors, opening windows to new ways of language education and policy. Taking a multidisciplinary approach within linguistics, she compares the developmental stages and outcomes of the acquisition of heritage languages to both child L1 and (adult) L2 acquisition. A must read for all those interested in linguistic theory, bilingualism and language acquisition and change.' Aafke Hulk, University of Amsterdam

    'The Acquisition of Heritage Languages offers up-to-date information, developing the main topics around heritage speakers thoroughly and in well-organized manner … Undoubtedly The Acquisition of Heritage Languages constitutes a reference book that contributes to the field of heritage language acquisition with profound theoretical and practical insights.' Laura Dubcovsky, The Linguist List (

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107007246
    • length: 382 pages
    • dimensions: 238 x 158 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Heritage languages and heritage speakers
    3. The language of heritage speakers
    4. The bilingual development of heritage speakers
    5. Theoretical approaches
    6. Methodological considerations
    7. How native are heritage speakers?
    8. Are heritage speakers like second language learners?
    9. Implications.

  • Author

    Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Silvina Montrul is Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Director of the University Language Academy for Children and the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.