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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The present chapter offers a review the empirical evidence on the impact of frequency of first language (L1) use and length of residence in the country where that is the primary language spoken on language development in an attrition setting. The chapter starts out by outlining the relevant theoretical frameworks of forgetting and maintaining knowledge and then it presents a summary of existing empirical research on language attrition. The chapter then concludes by suggesting that the available evidence points to a complex picture of interaction among external and predictor variables across the range of linguistic skills available to an individual, but that, in part due to methodological inconsistencies and limitations, no full and comprehensive picture has been arrived at to date.

Keywords: Frequency, first language use, residence, length of residence, recency, external variables, predictor variables

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