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Language Maintenance – Language Attrition

The Case of Polish Children in Sweden


Roman Laskowski

The monograph, based on broad studies into the Polish diaspora in Sweden, provides a picture of the social factors influencing the maintenance of the heritage language and culture by the second generation of emigrants. The author’s main objective, however, is to discover the systemic mechanisms underlying language acquisition by children in a bilingual setting and to investigate the influence of the interference from the dominant language on the acquisition of Polish. A particular attention is devoted to the category of case, which is absent from Swedish. Although it, generally, represents a description of a particular linguistic material, in fact the book addresses problems of the theory of language acquisition. The results and conclusions enable a better understanding of the universal semiotic and psychological principles that motivate the structure of the grammatical system of a natural language.
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Chapter 4 Locative – a facultative case


The locative is, after the dative, the second weak case in the diaspora idiolects. Although locative forms occur in each of the idiolects studied, analysis of the material clearly indicates that this case has an evidently weaker status in many of them. This is particularly visible in seven of the idiolects (76.02, 77.08, 78.02, 78.05, 78.13, 79.09, 80.03), where incorrect realisations of the locative dominate.

The following syntactic structures occur with the function of the locative:

o takiej dziewczynyGen, no, kobiecieLoc [o takiej dziewczynieLoc ‘about such a girl’] // na miejsceAcc [na miejscuLoc ‘on the spot’] // w telewizjeAccPl [w telewizjiLocSg ‘on TV’] // o tenNom TomNom Cruise [o tymLoc TomieLoc Cruise ‘about this Tom Cruise’] (77.08).

A similar state of affairs can be observed in, for example, idiolect (78.13), where the following structures occur, among others:

Przy drzewieLoc …drzewoNom-Acc [Przy drzewieLoc ‘by the tree’] // przy statkówGenPl [przy statkachLocPl ‘near the ships’] // opowiadam… o filmNom-Acc [opowiadam o filmieLoc ‘I’m talking about a film’] // ja mam opowiadać o zabawęAcc [mam opowiadać o zabawieLoc ‘I’m supposed to talk about the play’] // na tenNom FilutekNom [na tymLoc FilutkuLoc ‘on this Filutek’], na sofyGen [na sofieLoc ‘on the sofa’] (78.13).

Here are other similar examples:

w ścianieLoc ‘in the wall’ // opowiem o świętoAcc [opowiem o święcieLoc ‘I will talk about a holiday’], po stołyNom-AccPl, krzesłoNom-AccSg i podłogęAccSg [po sto...

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