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Language Attrition


Part of Key Topics in Sociolinguistics

  • Date Published: July 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521760409

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • 'Language attrition' describes the loss of, or changes to, grammatical and other features of a language as a result of declining use by speakers who have changed their linguistic environment and language habits. In such a situation there may, for example, be simplification in the tense system or in certain properties of subordinate clauses; some vocabulary items might fall into disuse and phonetic features may be restructured. These changes can be affected by features of the speaker's environment, but also by his or her attitudes and processes of identification. This book provides a detailed and up-to-date introduction to the way in which language attrition can affect language, as well as to the extra- and sociolinguistic features involved. It also familiarizes the reader with experimental approaches to attrition and data analysis techniques and provides hands-on guidelines on how to apply them.

    • Provides an overview of the scientific background of language attrition research
    • Gives a detailed description of methodological approaches to attrition
    • Makes frequent and extensive references to previous findings
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An outstanding how-to research manual … a superb introduction to the fast-growing field of first language attrition.' Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University

    'A masterful introduction to the theoretical key concepts and methodological issues in first language attrition research. Surely a landmark book!' Barbara Köpke, Octogone-Lordat, University of Toulouse

    'In this book, every crucial aspect of language attrition research is highlighted and clearly explained. Each chapter starts with essential questions that describe its focus and main ideas. In doing so, each chapter acts as a scaffold for the following one, and the reader is well-prepared and trained for what is next.' Bahar Otcu-Grillman, The Linguist List (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521760409
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 145 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 20 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Linguistic Aspects of Language Attrition:
    2. What is attrition?
    3. Cross-linguistic influence and the mental lexicon
    4. Attrition in the mental lexicon
    5. Attrition and the structure of language
    Part II. Extralinguistic Aspects of Language Attrition:
    6. Personal background factors
    7. The role of L1 input and output
    8. Attitudes and identities
    Part III. Conducting Research on Language Attrition – Preliminary Considerations:
    9. The test populations: participant characteristics and acquisition
    10. Types of linguistic knowledge
    Part IV. Experimental Designs for Attrition Research – The Language Attrition Test Battery:
    11. Lexical tasks
    12. Grammaticality judgment tasks
    13. Other grammatical tasks
    14. Free speech
    Part V. Coding and Analysing the Data:
    15. Transcribing and coding free speech: the CHILDES project
    16. Coding and reporting experimental data
    17. Interpreting your data: inferential statistics
    18. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Special Topic in Linguistics (Language Attrition)
  • Author

    Monika S. Schmid, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Monika S. Schmid is Professor of English Language and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

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