Antonella Sorace at LEL seminar

Posted on February 14, 2020 by

Next Tuesday, 18th February 2020, we will have Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh giving a paper on “Reconceptualizing native language attrition in bilinguals as natural language change” in SamAlex A101 at 4.15pm. Below is a short teaser:

“Native language (L1) attrition in adult bilinguals is frequently interpreted as language loss. Recent research on adult bilingualism, however, shows that attrition is a selective and potentially reversible process: it affects only structures that require efficient integration of information across (syntactic, pragmatic and contextual) domains and depend on the interaction of linguistic knowledge and cognitive control. Moreover, grammar representations themselves are not affected and attrition is not always due to cross-linguistic effects. These findings suggest that we should treat L1 attrition as a natural consequence of language contact, first in the bilingual brain and then in bilingual communities, which may eventually lead to language change. I will discuss some implications for research on bilingualism and, more widely, for multilingual societies.”

Featured photo from Antonella’s profile on the University of Edinburgh Linguistics and English Language Department website.