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Language attrition

Attrition is posited to be a universal phenomenon among bilinguals (Schmid & Köpke), with attrition and acquisition viewed as parallel processes governed by similar mechanisms (e.g., Kubota, 2019; Opitz, 2011; Schmid & Köpke, 2017, 2019; Sharwood Smith, 2001, inter alia). While the scope of attrition has been defined more narrowly elsewhere (see Schmid & Köpke, 2017), we use the term to refer to any change in an existing language after exposure to a novel language. We are interested in the variables that modulate attrition (linguistic and extralinguistic alike, with special attention given to context-related variables and individual differences) and the question of whether observed attrition effects reflect a decrease in L1 processing efficiency and co-activation, structural change, or both.  

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