Crossing borders to enhance our understanding of variation in heritage languages


  • David Natvig University of Oslo/Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan
  • Yvonne van Baal NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology



The ‘Norwegian in America’ project, led by Janne Bondi Johannessen, has provided continued inspiration and access to document and study American Norwegian. This has contributed to a growing body of research on morpho¬syntax and, to a lesser extent, phonetics-phonology. Using compositional definiteness as an illustration, we show the benefits of incorporating these two perspectives to analyse variation in heritage languages. We strive for a holistic approach to two examples in order to demonstrate how variation in each grammatical domain interacts. In one case, this leads to an enriched understanding of the data, whereas the other case highlights an explicit need for future research. We believe that further work that includes both morphosyntax and phonetics-phonology is fruitful for our understanding of how multiple language domains interact in a heritage language setting.



2021-01-22 — Updated on 2022-01-03


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