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By Schmid

'Language attrition' describes the lack of, or adjustments to, grammatical and different good points of a language due to declining use through audio system who've replaced their linguistic surroundings and language behavior. In one of these scenario there could, for instance, be simplification within the demanding process or in sure homes of subordinate clauses; a few vocabulary goods could fall into disuse and phonetic gains should be restructured. those adjustments should be laid low with gains of the speaker's atmosphere, but additionally through his or her attitudes and tactics of identity. This publication offers an in depth and updated advent to the way language attrition can have an effect on language, in addition to to the additional- and sociolinguistic gains concerned. It additionally familiarizes the reader with experimental methods to attrition and information research innovations and offers hands-on guidance on the right way to follow them.

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Example text

What is attrition? 13 It is a pervasive assumption that bilingual speakers normally have one linguistic system in which they are indistinguishable from monolingual native speakers – the L1 in the case of second language learners, and the L2 in the case of language attriters – and that CLI only or predominantly takes place in one direction: from the dominant language to the weaker. An example of such a model is the one developed by Weinreich (1953) and taken up again in the context of attrition by Seliger and Vago (1991).

An example of such a model is the one developed by Weinreich (1953) and taken up again in the context of attrition by Seliger and Vago (1991). On this view, second language learners start out with what is called compound bilingualism: knowledge of L2 is still patchy, so the L1 is used to ‘fill in the gaps’, and that is the source of CLI. In this stage, the L2 system is merged with that of the L1. In stage 2, co-ordinate bilingualism develops, the two linguistic systems are differentiated and can develop independently of each other.

In Figs. 1) – it actually grows, symbolizing semantic enrichment as new elements are integrated into the system, enlarging the vocabulary and making it more precise). However, the mental lexicon of an attriter can also be affected by a process that is not so much due to L2 and L1 interacting, but to L1 items becoming inaccessible: a speaker may forget certain words, or experience difficulties in retrieving them from memory. The crucial difference between this process and the ones illustrated above is that we assume that the latter are all externally induced, that is, caused in some way by interference from the L2.

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