The Case of Polish Children in Sweden
Chapter 5 Instead of a summary
Seriously restricted use of the Polish language leads to profound disruptions in the acquisition of their heritage language by the second generation of immigrants. The disruptions affect not only the lexicon, which is most vulnerable to foreign influence, but also the grammatical and phonological systems. The mutual relationships between disruptions to the mastery of the phonological system and those affecting the grammatical system of the language require a more in-depth scrutiny, there seems to be no parallel here. There are idiolects with a seriously affected Polish phonological system where, at the same time, the Polish morphology is quite well preserved. And vice versa: deficiencies in the morphological system do not have to come in pair with an incomplete mastery of the Polish phonological system.
While studying the language of the Polish children in Sweden (or, broadly, that of Polish children in a diaspora) one has to be aware of one thing: this type of linguistic material can by no means be regarded as the ‘system of Swedish Polish’, because what we have to do with here is tens (in the case of our study) of individual idiolects, differing from each other in terms of both the mastery level of Polish and the kinds of language mistakes committed by the children. Each child (and this is particularly true of those with a rather low level of competence in the language) has a peculiar, individual idiolect, often deviant from the Polish standard. Thus, the only thing that can be observed...
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