Language attrition and theories of forgetting: A cross-disciplinary review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


My purpose in this paper is to examine the psychological nature of forgetting (parts of) a language by individuals involved in language change across the lifespan. The objectives of the article are (1) to summarize psychological theories and hypotheses about forgetting and memory failure, and (2) to evaluate their relevance for the explanation of individual language attrition. By reviewing linguistically and psycholinguistically oriented language attrition studies that appear to implicate mechanisms of forgetting, I seek to contribute to the interdisciplinary study and discussion of language attrition phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-354
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • cross-disciplinary
  • language attrition
  • theories of forgetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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