Lexical Knowledge in Heritage Russian: Linguistic and Cultural Aspects
This study examines knowledge of Russian non-compositional expressions (idioms) of Heritage Russian speakers. In this paper we present the results of interviews and experiments conducted in immigrant families and targeting both parents (first-generation immigrants) and their children (heritage speakers). In the current study Heritage Russian speakers are children who were born in the USA and use Russian language only with their family. Their parents who left Russia around 1980- 1990 are baseline speakers. The study has two parts: the first one is dedicated to the general description of their speech while the second section is devoted to the cultural side of their language. In this respect, the recognition and knowledge of Russian non-compositional expressions were tested. As Heritage Russian speakers are bilinguals, their cultural background is rather ambiguous. The current research proves the idea that Heritage Russian speakers do not share the same cultural background as their parents.