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Quantitative analyses in a multivariate study of language attrition: The impact of extralinguistic factors

Schmid, MS and Dusseldorp, E (2010) 'Quantitative analyses in a multivariate study of language attrition: The impact of extralinguistic factors.' Second Language Research, 26 (1). 125 - 160. ISSN 0267-6583

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Most linguistic processes - acquisition, change, deterioration - take place in and are determined by a complex and multifactorial web of language internal and language external influences. This implies that the impact of each individual factor can only be determined on the basis of a careful consideration of its interplay with all other factors. The present study investigates to what degree a number of sociolinguistic and extralinguistic factors, which have been previously demonstrated or claimed to be relevant in the context of language attrition, can account for individual differences in first language (L1) proficiency. Data were collected from attriting populations with German as their L1: one in a Dutch language context (n = 53) and one in a Canadian English setting (n = 53). These groups were compared to a reference group of Germans in Germany (n = 53). Overall, the proposed outcome measures (derived from both formal tasks and a free speech task) are argued to be stable and valid indicators of attrition effects. The predictor variables under investigation are shown to fall into several reliable factor groups, for example, identification and affiliation with L1, exposure to German language and attitude towards L1. These are the factor groups that have, so far, been considered the most important for the process of L1 attrition or maintenance. However, the predictive power exercised by these factor groups in the present study is shown to be relatively weak. © The Author(s), 2010.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2013 19:30
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:21

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