Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-w45k2 Total loading time: 0.31 Render date: 2023-01-31T01:59:19.120Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The regression hypothesis as a framework for first language attrition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2009

MEREL KEIJZER*
Affiliation:
Utrecht University
*
Address for correspondence: English Language and Culture, Utrecht University, Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht, the NetherlandsM.C.J.Keijzer@uu.nl

Abstract

In an attempt to explain first language attrition in emigrant populations, this paper investigates the explanatory power of a framework that has – until now – received little attention: the regression hypothesis (Jakobson, 1941). This hypothesis predicts that the order of attrition is the reverse of the order of acquisition. The regression hypothesis was tested in relation to the loss of morphology and syntax in Dutch immigrants in Anglophone Canada. Evidence in favor of regression was found, but mainly in the morphological domain. Syntax, on the other hand, was mostly characterized by L2 influences from English. As it is problematic to treat regression as a theory in its own right, these findings are then explained in the light of both generative and usage-based approaches, as well as the more recent Dynamic Systems Theory.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Avrutin, S., Haverkort, M. & Hout, A. van (2001). Introduction: Language acquisition and language breakdown. Brain and Language, 77, 269273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bastiaanse, R. & Bol, G. (2001). Verb inflection and verb diversity in three populations: Agrammatic speakers, normally developing children, and children with Specific Language Impairments (SLI). Brain and Language, 77, 274282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berko, J. (1958). The child's learning of English morphology. Word, 14 (1), 150177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Booij, G. (2002). The morphology of Dutch. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Bot, K. de & Weltens, B. (1991). Recapitulation, regression and language loss. In Seliger, H. W. & Vago, R. M. (eds.), First language attrition, pp. 3151. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bot, K. de (2007). Dynamic systems theory, lifespan development and language attrition. In Köpke, B., Schmid, M. S., Keijzer, M. & Dostert, S. (eds.), Language attrition: Theoretical perspectives, pp. 5368. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caramazza, A. & Zurif, E. B. (1978). Comprehension of complex sentences in children and aphasics: A test of the regression hypothesis. In Caramazza, A. & Zurif, E. B. (eds.), Language acquisition and language breakdown: Parallels and divergencies, pp. 145161. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
Carroll, M. & Stutterheim, C. von (2003). Typology and information organisation: Perspective taking and language-specific effects in the construel of events. In Ramat, A. (ed.), Typology and second language acquisition, pp. 365402. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Cohen, A. (1986). Forgetting foreign language vocabulary. In Weltens et al. (eds.), pp. 143–158.Google Scholar
Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of learners’ errors. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 162169.Google Scholar
Ecke, P. (2004). Language attrition and theories of forgetting: A cross-disciplinary review. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 8 (3), 321354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Extra, G. (1978). Eerste- en Tweede-taalverwerving: De ontwikkeling van morfologische vaardigheden. Muiderberg: Coutinho.Google Scholar
Gillis, S. D. & de Schutter, G. (1997). Het effect van morfeemgrenzen op de intuïtieve syllabisering van kleuters en gealfabetiseerde kinderen. Gramma/TTT, 6, 243253.Google Scholar
Grodzinsky, Y. (1990). Theoretical perspectives on language deficits. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Håkansson, G. (1995). Syntax and morphology in language attrition: A study of five bilingual expatriate Swedes. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5 (2), 153171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hansen, L. (1999a). Not a total loss: The attrition of Japanese negation over three decades. In Hansen (ed.), pp. 142–153.Google Scholar
Hansen, L. (ed.) (1999b). Second language attrition in Japanese contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hansen, L. (2001). Language attrition: The fate of the start. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 6073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hayashi, B. (1999). Testing the regression hypothesis: The remains of the Japanese negation system in Micronesia. In Hansen (ed.), pp. 154–168.Google Scholar
Hedgcock, J. (1991). Foreign language retention and attrition: A study of regression models. Foreign Language Annals, 24 (1), 4355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Houwer, A. de & Gillis, S. (1998). Dutch child language: An overview. In Gillis, S. & Houwer, A. de (eds.), The acquisition of Dutch, pp. 1100. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Jakobson, R. (1941). Kindersprache, Aphasie und allgemeine Lautgesetze. Uppsala: Almqvist.Google Scholar
Jordens, P., Bot, K. de, Os, C. van & Schumans, J. (1986). Regression in German case marking. In Weltens et al. (eds.), pp. 159–176.Google Scholar
Jordens, P., Bot, K. de & Trapman, H. (1989). Linguistic aspects of regression in German case marking. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 11 (2), 179204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keijzer, M. C. J. (2004). First language attrition: A cross-linguistic investigation of Jakobson's regression hypothesis. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 8 (3), 389393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keijzer, M. C. J. (2007). Last in first out? An investigation of the regression hypothesis in Dutch emigrants in Anglophone Canada. Utrecht: LOT publications.Google Scholar
Kolk, H. H. J. (2001). Does agrammatic speech constitute a regression to child language? A three-way comparison between agrammatic, child and normal ellipsis. Brain and Language, 77, 340350.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Köpke, B. & Schmid, M. S. (2004). Language attrition: The next phase. In Schmid, M. S., Köpke, B., Keijzer, M. & Weilemar, L. (eds.), First language attrition: Interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues, pp. 143. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Kuhberg, H. (1992). Longitudinal L2-attrition versus L2-acquisition in three Turkish children: Empirical findings. Second Language Research, 8 (2), 138154.Google Scholar
MacWhinney, B. (1998). Models of the emergence of language. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 199227.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schaerlaekens, A. M. (1977). De Taalontwikkeling van het Kind: Een oriëntatie in het Nederlandstalig onderzoek (2nd edn.). Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff.Google Scholar
Schmid, M. S. (2002). First language attrition, use and maintenance: The case of German Jews in Anglophone countries. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmid, M. S. (2004). First language attrition: The methodology revised. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 8 (3), 239255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Slobin, D. I. (1977). Language change in childhood and history. In Macnamara, J. (ed.), Language learning and thought, pp. 185214. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Snow, C. E., Smith, N. S. H. & Hoefnagel-Höhle, M. (1980). The acquisition of some Dutch morphological rules. Journal of Child Language, 7, 539553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sorace, A. (2003). Near-nativeness. In Doughty, C. & Long, M. (eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition, pp. 130151. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sorace, A. (2005). Selective optionality in language development. In Cornips, L. & Corrigan, K. (eds.), Syntax and variation: Reconciling the biological and the social, pp. 5580. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomasello, M. (2004). What kind of evidence could refute the UG hypothesis? Commentary on Wunderlich. Studies in Language, 28 (3), 642645.Google Scholar
Tsimpli, I., Sorace, A., Heycock, C. & Filiaci, F. (2004). First language attrition and syntactic subjects: A study of Greek and Italian near-native speakers of English. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 8 (3), 257277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weltens, B., Bot, K. de & van Els, T. (eds.) (1986). Language Attrition in Progress. Dordrechts: Foris.Google Scholar
23
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The regression hypothesis as a framework for first language attrition
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The regression hypothesis as a framework for first language attrition
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The regression hypothesis as a framework for first language attrition
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *