Universiteit Leiden

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New platform for research about heritage languages

HERLING (Research Lab for the Study of Heritage Languages of the Netherlands) is a new centre that aims to bridge the gap between scientific research and language communities.

Europe is getting more and more diverse and the amount of languages used within national boundaries is also increasing. In the Netherlands there are about four million people who have a different language background and speak a heritage language at home. More children than before are now growing up acquiring another language in addition to Dutch. The linguists Deniz Tat, Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto and Janet Grijzenhout have recently founded the “Heritage Linguistics Lab” (HERLING) to bring together linguists and speakers of different heritage languages in the Netherlands.

HERLING is a platform for research about heritage languages spoken in the Netherlands, with a focus on Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish, Papiamento, Berber, Arabic and German. On Saturday 12 January 2019, these languages will be in the spotlights during the “HerLing 1” symposium. In the morning, lectures in English will be offered by well-known experts working on these heritage languages. In the afternoon, the HERLING Lab will be launched officially with an interactive programme in Dutch, including a video on heritage languages, workshops and a panel discussion. Various topics will be addressed: What makes heritage languages special and worth maintaining? What do heritage languages mean for the individual? Is it desirable to use heritage languages in Dutch classrooms or to offer language education in heritage languages? Do parents want their children to learn these languages and how does language change from generation to generation? You are all welcome to attend the morning and/or afternoon sessions. If you would like to attend, please register by sending a message to Deniz Tat.


Find more information about the symposium on January 12th.

HerLing I
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