LINGUIST List 12.2301

Wed Sep 19 2001

Calls: L1 Attrition, New York State Applied Ling

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. L1 attrition conference, First language attrition
  2. Sharon Utakis, New York State Applied Linguistics Conference

Message 1: First language attrition

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 10:45:35 +0100
From: L1 attrition conference <>
Subject: First language attrition

Call for papers

International conference on First language attrition:
Interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Aug. 22-24th, 2002
Monika S. Schmid
Barbara Koepke

Plenary speakers will include:
Kees de Bot (KU Nijmegen
Roeland van Hout (KUB Tilburg)
Pieter Muysken (KU Nijmegen)
Aneta Pavlenko (Philadelphia)
Kutlay Yagmur (KUB Tilburg)

Deadline for submission of abstract (max. 300 words): 10 January 2002
Pre-registration: until May 15th

The study of first language attrition is currently entering its third
decade. However, after twenty years of diligent investigation
resulting in numerous theoretical and empirical papers the questions
on this topic still by far outweigh the answers. Findings from
individual studies seem to underscore that it cannot even be said with
any certainty whether a first language in which a certain level of
proficiency has been reached can ever undergo significant attrition,
let alone how or why. Two decades after the field of language
attrition was inaugurated, research is still very much divided on the
question of whether any such thing as adult L1 attrition exists in the
first place. Such differences are likely to be the outcome of
inconsistencies in the methodology used in the collection and
interpretation of the data - and not necesarily of actual differences
in the linguistic repertoire of the speakers analysed by these
different studies (for a broader and more detailed comparison of the
results of language attrition studies see Koepke 1999:94-104). It has
been pointed out that there is great variance in the amount of
attrition that individual studies have found, but it has not, so far,
been investigated in what way these differences are linked to the
methodology of collecting and analyzing data. The current project is
intended to reconcile some of these differences, and develop a sound
methodological framework for further studies in language
attrition. For this, it appears crucial to reconcile the different
disciplines involved, to take advantage of the strength of the
linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic approaches and to
join them in an interdisciplinary frame able to account for all types
of variation which render comparisons between different studies
difficult or impossible. This conference attempts to do this, to bring
researchers together and ask them to re-evaluate their own findings on
the basis of methodological issues. We would like to encourage
participants to address some (or all) of the following issues. We want
researchers to arrive at a better (and more standardized)
understanding of what methodological means permit what kinds of

This includes issues like the following:

Concerning data:
1. What is a 'mistake'? How many judges do you need
in order to establish whether something is a mistake or not?
2. What are the differences in the occurrence of 'mistakes' in elicited
vs. spontaneous data? What methods are there available to generate
elicited data that is more like spontaneous data?
3. Can a study of language attrition be confined to analysing
interference data, or is it necessary to also include an analysis of
'proficiency data' (e.g. type-token frequencies, syntactic and
morphological complexity etc.)

Concerning data collection:
4. What are the possibilities and limitations of different tests,
i.e. what are the processing demands involved in a specific test and
what kind of observations does it allow?
5. How does the procedure of data collection influence the results?
(language choice, bilingual vs. unilingual interviewers, codeswitching
during the test, etc.)
6. Is a control group necessary, and, if so, how do we establish one?
(methodological differences here include the fact that a control group
should, ideally, be unilingual - but that very often, chosing a
unilingual group of subjects will produce an average level of
education that is much lower than that of the group of attriters.)

Concerning sociolinguistic factors:
7. What extralinguistic factors (age, education, gender etc.) do we
have to take into account?
8. To what degree do we have to allow for dialectal and sociolectal
variation among our attriters, and how do we control for that?
9. How to we acccount for variation in the socio-cultural
environnement and/or history of the subjects and of its consequences
on attitudes or motivation?

And finally:
10. If I could do the research all over again from the start, what
would I do differently?

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute presentations in English or French
or posters (please state your preference!) For further information,
please consult the conference website at

Language Attrition Conference 
Organising Committee

Mailing address:
Monika S. Schmid 
Engelse Taal en Cultuur
Faculteit der Letteren
Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: New York State Applied Linguistics Conference

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 21:13:33 -0700
From: Sharon Utakis <>
Subject: New York State Applied Linguistics Conference


The 24th Annual Applied Linguistics Winter Conference

sponsored by

RISLUS (CUNY Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society)

Saturday, February 23, 2002
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, Long Island City, NY

Theme: Language Learning in Communities

We invite proposals for 40 minute presentations (30 minute talks and
10 minutes for questions) on original research or pedagogical practices
related to applied linguistics. Preference will be given to proposals
related to the conference theme. Paper selection will be competitive.
Send the following:

-four copies of a one page summary without identifying information 
-one copy with name, address, affiliation, and e-mail address
-one fifty-word summary for the program book

Dr. Sharon Utakis
English Department
Bronx Community College
University Avenue & W. 181 St.
Bronx, NY 10453

Proposals due by October 31, 2001

For questions or further information write to Sharon Utakis at or Joanne Grumet at
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue