As one of AThEME’s deliverables, one of the researchers from Queen Mary University of London, wrote a working paper called ‘Why do multiethnolects develop? This paper is currently under review. Please find an abstract below:

In many northern European cities the number and diversity of immigrants has increased rapidly in recent years, with a corresponding increase in the number and diversity of languages spoken. Research projects in multicultural areas of these cities have documented the rapid emergence of multiethnolects: repertoires of innovative linguistic forms used by young people of all ethnicities and all language backgrounds, including local non-immigrant speakers. A recent project in Paris, however, discovered no such innovations. This article offers an explanation for the fact that similar processes of population movement, immigration, and globalization have produced a different linguistic outcome in Paris. It proposes four factors that are necessary for a multiethnolect to emerge, all of which remind us that language evolution, like language use, is constrained not only by the social characteristics of individuals but also by the social and historical context in which individuals live. 


Researchers from the university of Nantes wrote and article on heritage languages and knowledge acquisition. As it states in the introduction ‘this paper seeks to bring novel experimental data to bear on the well-known and thorny issue of intervention effects in a wh-in-situ language, namely Korean.’ The paper shows that heritage Korean speakers differ from native Korean speakers in certain target properties.

An experimental investigation of intervention effects with wh-in-situ in Korean

This working paper written by researchers from the University of Konstanz is a comparison of bilingual youth from immigrant families with different ages of onset of L2 acquisition to native monolinguals. It asks the question if simultaneous bilingualism supports high proficiency in both languages?

Article Sociological and sociolinguistic variables HL

AThEME has published its third European Policy Brief , this time on multilingualism and heritage languages.

Based on AThEME research findings dealing with heritage languages, this document is intended to present policy-relevant findings to (European) decision-makers as well as offer them research-based policy recommendations.


In September 2015, AThEME partner Laboratoire de Linguistique de Nantes (University of Nantes) hosted the 12th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition conference (GALA 12). As stated in these proceedings: “The conference Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition is the biannual meeting of researchers working on language development from a generative perspective. It provides a forum for discussion of the most recent advances on first and second language acquisition, heritage language and bilingual acquisition, language pathology, the acquisition of sign language and neurolinguistics.”

In this volume, 18 high-quality and diverse papers are presented, which will prove “a valuable reference guide for the researchers working in the domain of language acquisition and language development from a generative perspective.”

Language Acquisition and Development Proceedings of GALA 2015

This state-of-the-art paper discusses new forms of languages that have emerged in multilingual areas of European cities (these new styles are known as multiethnolects). The paper reviews research from the past decade and explores sociological attitudes towards these language variants and was published as part of Queen Mary Occasional Papers Advancing Linguistics.

Working Paper on Emerging Multiethnic Dialects (pdf)