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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the phenomenon of ‘Heritage Language’ as a whole, with a focus on Persian as a heritage language. Studying heritage languages is an emerging field, which has flourished within the past several decades and, as migration and globalization grows, heritage languages are becoming more important. The first part of this chapter provides an original contribution by unifying the existing research on Persian as a heritage language. This is a crucial task, because various researchers have already explored this topic from different perspectives. However, many scholars are not aware of the existing research, which causes them to start the work from the ground up. The second part of this chapter examines various characteristics of heritage Persian speakers in terms of their linguistic and metalinguistic abilities, compares their profiles with that of a native speaker and a second land-language learner, and sheds light on the current challenges within this field.

Keywords: heritage language, Persian, heritage speaker, language acquisition, bilingualism, language policy, language maintenance, Iranian diaspora, bilingual education, migration

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