Gironzetti, E. 2022. “Corpus y español como lengua de herencia / Corpora and Spanish as a Heritage Language.” In Parodi, G., Cantos, P., & Howe, L. (Eds.), Lingüística de corpus / The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Corpus Linguistics (pp. 104-119). New York – London: Routledge.
In the last 30 years, we have witnessed a growing interest toward Spanish as a heritage language (SHL), motivated, in part, by the demographic changes that affected mostly, although not exclusively, the United States. This interest is also visible within the field of corpus linguistics, as demonstrated by the creation and analyses of new SHL corpora, including corpora with multilingual informants, as well as corpora of Spanish in/of the United States. The goal of this chapter is to offer a critical perspective of existing corpora and corpus-based studies about SHL. To achieve this goal, first, the profiles of SHL speakers as well as the characteristics of SHL are described from a sociolinguistic perspective. Next, available SHL corpora are explored, underscoring their characteristics and their applications, that is, corpus-based studies and pedagogical applications. Finally, the benefits of using corpora to study SHL are 105underscored while considering issues of, and the study of linguistic competence, registers and discursive strategies, among others, in SHL. Moreover, current challenges for SHL corpus linguistics are discussed as these relate to, on the one hand, the definition(s) of SHL and SHL speakers, and, on the other hand, the characteristics of existing corpora and the research areas in need of further studies.