This paper investigates American heritage Norwegian with a focus on compositional definiteness (CD): the phenomenon that modified definite noun phrases contain both a prenominal determiner and a suffixed article to express definiteness. An experimental study with nineteen participants was carried out to test the production of CD in heritage Norwegian. The results show that the phenomenon is vulnerable to restructuring: all speakers produce non-target-like phrases. Furthermore, heritage Norwegian deviates systematically from homeland Norwegian. Phrases without the prenominal determiner are more frequent and uttered by more speakers than phrases without the suffixed article. This indicates that the vulnerability of CD is not caused by transfer from English, but rather by cross-linguistic overcorrection.
Selected Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas (WILA 8)
edited by Jan Heegård Petersen and Karoline Kühl
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