A considerable amount of research has been devoted to exploring how bilinguals accommodate their languages. Since it has long been assumed that the native language, once completely acquired, would be immune to change, this research has mainly been focused on L2 development and L1 interference in the process of L2 learning (Gass & Selinker, 1992; Kecskes & Papp, 2000; Mitchell et al., 2013; Ringbom, 1987). However, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic investigations into the bilingual mind have consistently demonstrated that interaction between languages is two-way and that bilinguals use and process their native languages differently than monolinguals (Cook, 2015; Green & Abutalebi, 2013; Pavlenko & Jarvis, 2002). While the precise nature of this phenomenon and the linguistic and psycholinguistic determinants involved have not been completely explored, the symptoms ascribed to first language attrition are unanimously characterized as a natural part of the developmental process in bilingualism. As attrition research has considerably advanced our knowledge on the impact of later-learned languages and bilingualism on the L1 and the loss of L1 skills, this has led to the realization that L1 attrition forms a vital component of research into bilingualism. This chapter will present a synthesis derived from the findings of previous studies on first language attrition in adult speakers in an attempt to explain the extent to which native language knowledge can become compromised, and how. It will also demonstrate how including these speakers in bilingualism investigations may help us explore the limits and possibilities of our language capacity and provide additional insight into controversial issues in second language acquisition research such as maturational constraints and the nature of L2 knowledge in late learners.
2.First language attrition and interplay between languages
3.Scope and limitations of attrition effects
4.Factors in attrition
5.Contribution of attrition studies to bilingualism research
(1996) “You get a bit wobbly …” – Exploring bilingual lexical retrieval processes in the context of first language attrition. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Nijmegen University.
(2011) Cognitive restructuring in bilingualism. In A. Pavlenko (Ed.), Thinking and speaking two languages (pp. 29–65). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Bartolotti, J., & Marian, V.
(2012) Bilingual memory: Structure, access and processing. In J. Altarriba, & L. Isurin (Eds.), Memory and language: Theoretical and applied approaches to bilingualism (pp. 7–47). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bassetti, B., & Cook, V. J.
(2011) Relating language and cognition: The second language user. In V. J. Cook, & B. Bassetti (Eds.), Language and bilingual cognition (pp.143–190). New York, NY: Psychology Press.
(2016) Language aptitude in first language attrition: A study on late Spanish-Swedish bilinguals. Applied Linguistics, 37(5), 621–638.
Chamorro, G., Sorace, A., & Sturt, P.
(2016) What is the source of L1 attrition? The effect of recent L1 re-exposure on Spanish speakers under L1 attrition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(3), 520–532.
Chang, C. B.
(2012) Rapid and multifaceted effects of second-language learning on first-language speech production. Journal of Phonetics, 40(2), 249–268.
(2011) Between attrition and acquisition: The case of Romanian in immigrant contexts. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Toronto.
(2013) Investigating the impact of attitude on first language attrition and second language acquisition from a Dynamic Systems Theory perspective. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(6), 716–733.
Coderre, E. L.
(2015) The neuroscience of bilingualism: Cross-linguistic influences and cognitive effects. In J. E. Warnick, & D. Landis (Eds.), Neuroscience in intercultural contexts, international and cultural psychology (pp. 73–116). New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media.
Cook, V. J.
(1991) The poverty-of-the-stimulus argument and multi-competence. Second Language Research, 7(2), 103–117.
Cook, V. J.
(Ed.) (2003) Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Cook, V. J.
(2015) Premises of multi-competence. In V. J. Cook & L. Wei (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of linguistic multi-competence (pp. 1–25). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2009) Multilingualism, L1 attrition and the concept of ‘native speaker’. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Heinrich-Heine Universität.
Ecke, P., & Hall, C. J.
(2013) Tracking tip-of‐the-tongue states in a multilingual speaker: Evidence of attrition or Instability in lexical systems?International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(6), 734–751.
Flege, J. E.
(1987) The production of ‘new’ and ‘similar’ phones in a foreign language: Evidence for the effect of equivalence classification. Journal of Phonetics, 15, 47–65.
Flege, J. E.
(2002) Interactions between native and second-language phonetic systems. In P. Burmeister, T. Piske, & A. Rohde (Eds.), An integrated view of language development: Papers in honor of Henning Wode (pp. 217–244). Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.
Flege, J. E., & Fletcher, K. L.
(1992) Talker and listener effects on degree of perceived foreign accent. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 91, 370–389.
Flege, J. E., Schirru, C., & MacKay, I. R. A.
(2003) Interaction between the native and second language phonetic subsystems. Speech Communication, 40(4), 467–491.
Friesen, D. C., Jared, D., & Haigh, C. A.
(2014) Phonological processing dynamics in bilingual word naming. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie Expérimentale, 68(3), 179.
(2016) Interpersonal variation in late L1 attrition and its implications for the competence/performance debate. Poster presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Attrition, Colchester, UK, July.
Goad, H., White, L., & Steele, J.
(2003) Missing inflection in L2 Acquisition: Defective syntax or LI-constrained prosodic representations?Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 48(3–4), 243–263.
(1986) Control, activation and resource: A framework and a model for the control of speech in bilinguals. Brain and Language, 27, 210–223.
(2011) Language control in different contexts: The behavioral ecology of bilingual speakers. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 103.
Green, D., & Abutalebi, J.
(2013) Language control in bilinguals: The adaptive control hypothesis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(5), 515–530.
(1989) Neurolinguistics, beware! The bilingual is not two monolinguals in one person. Brain and Language, 36, 3–15.
(2001) The bilingual’s language modes. In J. Nicol (Ed.), One mind, two languages: Bilingual language processing (pp. 1–22). Oxford: Blackwell.
(2008) Studying bilinguals, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(2016) The Complementarity Principle and its impact on processing, acquisition, and dominance. In C. Silva-Corvalán & J. Treffers-Daller (Eds.), Language dominance in bilinguals: Issues of measurement and operationalization (pp. 36–65). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grosjean, F., & Py, B.
(1991) La restructuration d’une première langue: l’Intégration de variantes de contact dans la compétence de migrants bilingues. La Linguistique, 27, 35–60.
Grosjean, F., & Li, P.
(2013) The psycholinguistics of bilingualism. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
(2002) Linguistic characteristics of second language acquisition and first language attrition: Overt versus null pronouns. Unpublished PhD dissertation, McGill University.
(2004) Attrition in L1 competence: The case of Turkish. In M. S. Schmid, B. Köpke, M. Keijzer, & L. Weilemar (Eds.), First language attrition. Interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues (pp. 225–242). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
(2015) Cross-language transfer for cognates in aphasia therapy with multilingual patients: A case study. Aphasie et Domaines Associés, 3, 13–19.
Hammer, K., & Dewaele, J.-M.
(2015) Acculturation as the key to the ultimate attainment? The case of Poles in the UK. In F. F. Lundell, & I. Bartning (Eds.), Cultural migrants and optimal language acquisition (pp. 178–202). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Hawkins, R., & Chan, Y.-C.
(1997) The partial availability of Universal Grammar in second language acquisition: The ‘failed functional features hypothesis’. Second Language Research 13(3), 187–226.
Herdina, P., & Jessner, U.
(2002) A dynamic model of multilingualism. Perspectives of change in psycholinguistics. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Herdina, P., & Jessner, U.
(2013) The implications of language attrition for dynamic systems theory: Next steps and consequences. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(6), 752–756.
Himmel, M.-C., & Kabak, B.
(2016) Adaptation or attrition? L1 rhoticity in American English-German late bilinguals. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Attrition, Colchester, UK, July.
(2016) First language attrition induces changes in online morphosyntactic processing and re-analysis: An ERP study of number agreement in complex Italian sentences. Cognitive Science, 1–44.
Kecskes, I., & Papp, T.
(2000) Foreign language and mother tongue. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kim, J. H., Montrul, S., & Yoon, J.
(2010) Dominant language influence in acquisition and attrition of binding: Interpretation of the Korean reflexive caki. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 73–84.
(1999) L’attrition de la première langue chez le bilingue tardif: Implications pour l’etude pscholinguistique du bilinguisme. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail.
(2002) Activation thresholds and non-pathological first language attrition. In F. Fabbro (Ed.), Advances in the neurolinguistics of bilingualism (pp. 119–142). Udine: Forum.
(2004) Neurolinguistic aspects of attrition. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 17, 3–30.
Köpke, B., & Schmid. M. S.
(2004) Language attrition: The next phase. In M. S. Schmid, B. Köpke, M. Keijer, & L. Weilemar (Eds.), First language attrition: Interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues (pp. 1–43). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
(2014) What bilinguals do with language that changes their minds and their brains. Applied Psycholinguistics, 35(5), 921–925.
(2003) The influence of L2 on L1 collocational knowledge and on L1 lexical diversity in free written expression. In V. J. Cook (Ed.), Effects of the second language on the first (pp. 19–31). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Lambert, R. F., & Freed, B. F.
(1982) (Eds.). The loss of language skills. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
(2011) Adult first language attrition: The case of Polish speakers in Sweden. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Stockholm University.
(2016) Phonological coactivation in the bilinguals’ two languages: Evidence from the color naming task. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(2), 361–375.
Major, R. C.
(1992) Losing English as a first language. The Modern Language Journal, 76(2), 190–208.
Major, R. C.
(1993) Sociolinguistic factors in loss and acquisition of phonology. In K. Hyltenstam, & A. Viberg (Eds.), Progression and regression in language (pp. 463–478). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Major, R. C.
(2010) First language attrition in foreign accent perception. International Journal of Bilingualism, 14(2), 163–183.
Mayr, R., Price, S., & Mennen, I.
(2012) First language attrition in the speech of Dutch–English bilinguals: The case of monozygotic twin sisters. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15(4), 687–700.
(2001) The maintenance and loss of reflexive anaphors in L2 English. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Durham.
(2004) Bi-directional interference in the intonation of Dutch speakers of Greek. Journal of phonetics, 32(4), 543–563.
Mitchell, R., Myles, F., & Marsden, E.
(2013) Second language learning theories. London: Routledge.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 9 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.