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Input and experience in minority language acquisition - the value of the Irish case study

Thu, 2 February 17 11:50

Video of Dr. Siobhán Nic Fhlannchadha presening to the school in December on her research.

"I have opted to break the seminar up into four parts, based loosely on the studies in my thesis. The first part will examine the acquisition of a complex feature of the Irish language, that is grammatical gender, and this formed the most significant component of my research. I will move on to a more focused examination of intergenerational transmission and the influence of adult input, the importance of which was one of the key arguments of my thesis. I will take a novel turn at the next point by considering the native and new speaker voices. The body of research pertaining to minority language speakers attitudes and beliefs is growing in very interesting ways but very few studies have married this with an examination of actual language use. My research aims to bridge the gap between sociolinguistic research, which is cognisant of power differences and context in minority language, and psycholinguistic research, whose beam is more focused on linguistic input and output in terms of its structure and grammaticality. Finally, I would like to contrast the results from Part 1, where bilingual children’s acquisition of a complex feature of one of their languages was measured, with their performance on a measure of a much more easily acquired aspect of their language, which is common vocabulary. I will then briefly sum up with some conclusions and recommendations."