What Errors Can’t Tell Us About Heritage Grammars: On Covert Restructuring of Aspect in Russian

Oksana Laleko


The paper examines covert restructuring of the aspectual system of Russian in the context of heritage acquisition, i.e. systematic grammatical reorganization not manifested in overt errors. The interaction between VP-level aspectuality and sentential aspect is examined in the data from high-proficiency heritage speakers and baseline speakers of Russian. While the two grammars largely converge at the VP level (particularly in atelic contexts), they differ with respect to how sentential aspect is expressed, suggesting that the differences lie at the syntax-pragmatics interface: heritage grammar diverges from the baseline grammar in those contexts where syntactic knowledge must be integrated with discourse-pragmatic knowledge.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.532