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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One of the most puzzling explanatory challenges to language attrition research is to identify the circumstances and predictors under which any particular speaker is likely to experience more or less attrition phenomena: it is a well-established finding that speakers who use more than one language in their daily lives develop increased variability concerning their first language (L1) skills across the full range of the linguistic repertoire, from phonetics through the lexicon and morphosyntax to pragmatics and beyond. However, the search for predictive factors—those features of an individual’s personal background, language habits and experience, and attitudes and motivation which may contribute to making someone a good vs. a poor L1 maintainer—has, to date, been largely inconclusive. This chapter provides a brief overview of the available research and sketches some open questions, before introducing the contributions to the present section.

Keywords: European Graduate Network, Attrition Test Battery, attrition and age, impact of L1 use, attrition and language contact, attrition and motivation

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