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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is an impairment specific to language that affects about 5% to 7% of all children, monolingual as well as bilingual. In this chapter, we aim to demonstrate that knowing more about attrition is important for accurately diagnosing bilingual children whose language abilities raise concerns and who may have DLD. The focus is on bilingual children who are raised in a migration context and whose home language, which is also their first language (L1), may be subject to attrition. We discuss whether the effects of attrition and DLD are expected to show overlap, whether they would accumulate, and whether DLD would influence attrition. In so doing, we often refer to research that has looked at the second language (L2) of bilingual immigrant children, as much less is yet known about their L1. We conclude by summarizing the main issues and suggesting promising avenues for future research.

Keywords: developmental language disorder, specific language impairment, language attrition, language delay, child L2 acquisition, heritage language

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