(Psycho)linguistic determinants of L1 attrition

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This paper addresses the issue of selectivity in first language (L1) attrition of syntax by investigating the effects of L2 Turkish binding properties of reflexives and pronouns in the L1 English grammar. The L2 Turkish-induced L1 English attrition data is discussed in comparison with L2 English-induced L1 Turkish attrition data reported in Gürel (2002). The aim is to explore linguistic and psycholinguistic factors that affect interference-dependent syntactic attrition in the L1. The paper argues that it might be possible to predict L1 syntactic forms that are more vulnerable to restructuring through an attrition model that incorporates learnability-based linguistic factors as well as psycholinguistic factors involved in the retention and forgetting of linguistic forms among bilinguals.


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