Case and word order in Greek heritage children

Vasiliki Chondrogianni, Richard Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the linguistic and individual-level factors that render casemarking a vulnerable domain in English-dominant Greek heritage children. We alsoinvestigated whether heritage language (HL) children can use case marking cues tointerpret (non-)canonical sentences in Greek similarly to their monolingual peers. Agroup of 6- to 12-year-old Greek heritage children in New York City and a control group of age-matched monolingual children living in Greece participated in a production and a picture verification task targeting case marking and (non-)canonica lword order in Greek. HL children produced syncretic inflectional errors, also found in preschool monolingual children. In the comprehension task, HL children show edvariable performance on the non-canonical OVS but ceiling performance on the SVO conditions, which suggests influence from English. Linguistic factors such as case transparency affected comprehension, whereas child-level factors such as proficiency and degree of (early) use of Greek influenced performance on both modalities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766 - 795
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number4
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • heritage language children
  • bilingual children
  • Greek
  • case
  • word order


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