Can I forget a language?


by Pronghorn
Tags: forget, language
Bobbywhy
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#19
Feb18-12, 02:52 AM
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Quote Quote by Pronghorn View Post
I abhor my native culture. And yes, absolutely, I've made up my mind; I'm beyond the point of no return.

I'm almost 20.

By the way, the phenomenon I'm talking about is referred to as language attrition academically.
Pronghorn, I am surprised by such strong statements: "I abhor my native culture. And yes, absolutely, I've made up my mind; I'm beyond the point of no return."

Can you elaborate on this, or give the specific languages you are proficient in? Which is L1 and which is L2?

Here is some information on the subject you have asked about:

"The term 'First Language Attrition' (FLA) refers to the gradual decline in native language proficiency among migrants. As a speaker uses their L2 frequently and becomes proficient (or even dominant) in it, some aspects of the L1 can become subject to L2 influence or deteriorate.

L1 attrition is a process which is governed by two factors: the presence and development of the L2 system on the one hand, and the diminished exposure to and use of the L1 on the other that is, it is a process typically witnessed among migrants who use the later-learned environmental language in daily life.

Like second language acquisition (SLA), FLA is mediated by a number of external factors, such as exposure and use, attitude and motivation, or aptitude. However, the overall impact of these factors is far less strongly pronounced than what has been found in SLA.

The loss of a native language is often experienced as something profoundly moving, disturbing or shocking, both by those who experience it and by those who witness it in others: “To lose your own language was like forgetting your mother, and as sad, in a way”, because it is “like losing part of one’s soul” is how Alexander McCall Smith puts it (The Full Cupboard of Life, p. 163)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_attrition

Edit: And see the references at the bottom...if you want to explore this in more detail.
WhoWee
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#20
Feb18-12, 02:48 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
not without concussive assistance
How high a body temperature is required to cause permanent memory loss?
fluidistic
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Feb18-12, 03:37 PM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
How high a body temperature is required to cause permanent memory loss?
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...le/003090.htm:
Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6 F (42 C). Untreated fevers caused by infection will seldom go over 105 F unless the child is overdressed or trapped in a hot place.
Pythagorean
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Feb18-12, 05:28 PM
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My post was mostly a joke implying that there's no controlled way to forget a language.

There's no guarantee that a concussion (whether induced by temperature or blunt impact) will damage memory, or especially the specific kind of memory you're targeting. We can't even expect different languages to be well separated spatially in the brain.
WhoWee
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#23
Feb19-12, 12:38 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
My post was mostly a joke implying that there's no controlled way to forget a language.

There's no guarantee that a concussion (whether induced by temperature or blunt impact) will damage memory, or especially the specific kind of memory you're targeting. We can't even expect different languages to be well separated spatially in the brain.
Mine was also tongue-in-cheek - but with a valid question.
Zamedy
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#24
Feb25-12, 08:49 PM
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I was 24 when I stopped using my native language English, and spoke pretty much only Danish for over 20 years, although I did read and hear it regularly. About 3 years ago I moved back to my country of origin.
We all have 2 parts to our vocabulary:-
Passive - these are the words we know when we see them, and can have a basic understanding of, which can be strengthened by context.
Active - these are the words we use every day and we have an indepth understanding of.
What I found was, my active vocabulary had shrunk dramatically and especially everyday words that I would never usually think about, like 'of', 'at' and 'to' I had to struggle to recall. More complex words that I had to actively learn originally like 'habitual' or 'onomatopoeia' were much easier to recall.
My Passive vocabulary was pretty much intact - I understood everything people said to me.
I had a few months where I stuttered a bit or had pauses whilst I dredged the recesses of my memory, or reverted unwittingly back into Danish :-/, but after about 6 months my language was generally back to normal. The only lasting effects are that my spelling is nowhere near what it used to be, and that by stopping speaking English for all those years, my Danish is near faultless.


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