ERIC Number: EJ1095044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
First Language Attrition
Schmid, Monika S.
Language Teaching, v49 n2 p186-212 Apr 2016
Language attrition research has developed in several clearly delimited phases spanning, roughly, each of the three decades between 1982 and 2012 (see Kopke & Schmid 2004 for a more detailed overview and analysis). The first phase was an era of stocktaking, with a number of symposia, collected volumes and special issues of journals. All of these collections cast their net widely, attempting to cover not only what, under the current terminology, would be considered "attrition proper", namely the non-pathological loss of previously fully acquired first (L1) or second language (L2) skills in adult speakers (Kopke & Schmid 2004: 5), but also such diverse phenomena as incomplete acquisition, language contact and death, dialect change and death, pathological language loss and so forth. In 1991 the first collection that specifically focused on changes to the NATIVE language appeared (Seliger & Vago (eds.) 1991: see timeline), marking the beginning of a decade of a more focused, theoretically and empirically driven approach to language attrition, characterized mainly by a limited number of comparatively large-scale investigations of first language attrition, usually in the form of Ph.D. projects. From the early 2000s, numerous efforts were made to again create a community and network of attrition researchers and to arrive at commonly agreed-upon methodological approaches as well as a sound theoretical underpinning for this research. This last decade has seen a number of international conferences and symposia dedicated solely to attrition research as well as panel sessions at larger conferences on bilingualism, the formation of a graduate network and the publication of numerous collected volumes and special issues of journals as well as overview articles in handbooks and encyclopaedias. The bibliographic timeline presented herein focuses on studies investigating L1 attrition. Where not otherwise indicated, participants in the studies are post-puberty long-term migrants. The items represented in the timeline represent the following themes: (1) Theoretical frameworks and general considerations; (2) Comparisons of attrition and other linguistic developments; (3) Attrition as a selective process; (4) The role of external predictors; and (5) Methodological considerations.
Descriptors: Language Skill Attrition, Native Language, Language Skills, Educational Research, Language Research, Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, Multilingualism, Lexicology, Semantics, Morphology (Languages), Syntax, Phonetics, Phonology, Language Attitudes, Aging (Individuals), Predictor Variables, Annotated Bibliographies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Reports - Descriptive
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