“My current research focuses on heritage language speakers (i.e. bilinguals who acquire their first language at an early age, in a minority setting, with reduced input conditions, and under the influence of the societal language). Specifically, it aims to uncover whether and how the dominant societal language (the L2) impacts the way in which these bilingual speakers acquire and maintain their heritage language. The YERUN Research Mobility Award gave me the opportunity to further advance my research and investigate the extent to which the L2 affects how adult heritage speakers process their native minority language in real time, by collecting online eye-tracking data during language comprehension from heritage speakers in the UK and in Germany. This was enabled through the research collaboration with Prof. Dr. Monika S. Schmid from the University of Essex, a leading international expert within the field of bilingual processing who has worked extensively on first language attrition, that is, on how the native language of the migrants who become dominant in the societal language changes or deteriorates over time. This joint data collection will bring added value to current research on heritage language processing by providing comparable data in the two countries on the real-time comprehension of which-questions (Which student(s) did the professor(s) dismiss?) in adult Romanian heritage speakers with L2 German and L2 English.”
About the collaboration:
The collaboration between Anamaria Bentea and Prof. Dr. Monika S. Schmid, from the University of Essex, consisted of an online data collection investigating language comprehension in adult heritage speakers of Romanian living in the UK and in Germany with the aim to understand whether and how the dominant societal languages (English and German) affect the way in which adult heritage speakers comprehend their heritage language (Romanian) in real time. The study was implemented and administered online in Gorilla, an experiment builder that allowed us to design and run an eye-tracking study online.
About Anamaria Bentea:
Anamaria Bentea is Research Fellow in Department of Linguistics and the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz. Before going to Konstanz, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences and the Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics Lab at the University of Reading where she worked on a project investigating the acquisition of multiple wh-dependencies in Romanian-English bilingual children.