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TitleThe effect of age on language attrition : evidences from bilingual returnees
Author(s)Flores, Cristina
KeywordsLanguage attrition
age effects
Word order
Issue dateOct-2010
PublisherCambridge University Press
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Citation"Bilingualism : language and cognition". ISSN 1366-7289. 13:4 (2010) 533-546.
Abstract(s)The present study investigates the syntactic competence of bilingual Portuguese-German returnees who have lost regular contact with their L2 (German). The main criterion which distinguishes the participants is the age of input loss. This allows their division into two main groups: speakers who lost German input during early childhood (between ages 7 and 10) and speakers who were 11 or older when they moved away from the German environment. Focusing on verb placement in main and embedded clauses, the available data shows strong evidence of the existence of a stabilization phase following the acquisition period. The speakers who lost L2 input earlier than age 11 show significantly more syntactic deficits than the other speakers. However, the observed attrition effects seem to be the result of insufficient L2 activation, rather than the expression of undergoing competence loss.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Artigos publicados em revistas

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