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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

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Variation in Spanish heritage speakers’ bilingualism and cognition

Catherine A. Stafford / Clara S. Azevedo
Published Online: 2015-08-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0018


The variation that characterizes bilinguals and bilingualism is perhaps even more prominent when it comes to bilinguals who are heritage speakers of one of their languages. This variation is highly influential over the course of a lifetime in shaping and reshaping bilingual cognition, which we understand to be at once socially and individually embedded and guided. We first summarize some of the qualities that distinguish bilingual cognition from monolingual cognition. We then consider heritage speakers as a particular profile of bilingual, and discuss how variation that is specific to heritage speakers’ bilingual experience influences cognition across the lifespan.

Keywords: heritage language; bilingualism; biliteracy; cognition; language development


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-25

Published in Print: 2015-09-01

Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 429–439, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0018.

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