One of the key questions of studies on heritage language (HL) transmission is which factors most likely foster the intergenerational transmission of HL and more saliently favor its acquisition in second-generation speakers. The present study explores the effect of the cognitive and affective disposition of first-generation speakers on the subjective HL proficiency level in the second generation of Russian-speaking immigrants in the town of Salamanca, central Spain. Based on a scalar questionnaire which enquires into the language practices, language attitudes and language motivations of the first-generation speakers, the study analyzes the effect of self-categorization, attitudes towards HL utility, and strategies of HL intergenerational transmission in ten mixed families. The main results of the study show that positive HL affectivity is key to assuring proficient HL acquisition in second-generation speakers, while negative HL affectivity systematically drives unbalanced Spanish–Russian bilingualism in children. The final results are consistent with those of other recent studies on affectivity in HL and suggest the importance of positive attitudes towards HL in its transmission.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited