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Attrition and Multilingualism

  1. Monika S. Schmid

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0060

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Schmid, M. S. 2012. Attrition and Multilingualism. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


To think “bilingualism” is usually to think “second language” (L2). Virtually all research that is conducted on multilinguals focuses on the way in which they acquire and use the languages which are not their “native” one. Observations gained from that study are then compared to first language (L1) speakers, and attempts are made to pinpoint and explain the differences between the two populations (L1 speakers vs. L2 learners).


  • bilingualism;
  • first language acquisition;
  • language maintenance;
  • second language acquisition;
  • immigration and emigration;
  • multilingualism