Events / Workshop: The selectivity of native language attrition

Name: Workshop: The selectivity of native language attrition
Organiser: Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh, Bilingualism Matters) and Roumyana Slabakova (University of Southampton)
Date: 13-14 October 2017
Place: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Very broadly, language attrition can be defined as changes in a speaker’s native language (L1) as a result of increased use of another language (L2). Among the most intriguing questions in research on bilingualism is the selectivity of L1 attrition in first-generation speakers. What exactly changes in the L1? Why are some linguistic properties more vulnerable than others to change under conditions of diminished exposure and use? Are these the same properties that are variable in heritage speakers, who may have experienced language attrition at an earlier age? An understanding of the relationship between L1 attrition and L2 acquisition in late bilinguals can advance our understanding of language and cognition in multilingualism.