The Department of Linguistics is please to announce Qi'e (Cheer) Wu has won the Outstanding International Researcher Award for her poster presented at the Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (FURCA) 2019 event.
Qi'e is an honors student in Linguistics working with Dr. Lila Daskalaki. Her research project examines whether some “deviant” patterns observed in the heritage language of immigrant children are already present in the type of input they receive from their parents. To this end, she collected narrative data from heritage and monolingual speakers of Mandarin (both from children and their mothers) and focused on a phenomenon that has been shown to be challenging for Mandarin-English bilinguals (pronominal subjects). The results of her study indicate that heritage language children use more overt pronominal subjects in contexts where their monolingual peers opted for null subjects. Significantly, this same contrast was observed between immigrant and monolingual mothers. These results suggest that some of the deviant patterns observed in the heritage language of immigrant children are not deficits, but rather might be instances of cross-generational language change in immigrant contexts.