Natural English (NatEng)

Auf einen Blick

Projektleiter/in: Prof. Dr. Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow

Projektteam: Christine Ricketts Aeberli, Prof. Dr. Walter Seiler

Projektfinanzierung: Fondation Henri Moser

Projektvolumen: 10'000.00 CHF

Projektbeginn: 09.05.2007


Maintaining natural English in other-language surroundings


The goal of the project is to investigate the role of various factors in language attrition in multilinguals. The first phase was designed to investigate whether judgments of the acceptability of English grammatical structures typical of Swiss-German speakers (so-called Swissisms) varied depending on whether and how long informants have lived in German-speaking Switzerland, whether English is their first language or was learned later, and whether or not they are language professionals. The findings contributed to initial insights into the influence of a closely related language (Swiss-German) on the English of first and second language users and the factors affecting attrition of English in other-language surroundings. The second phase of the project involves the development and testing of an inventory of instruments to allow more detailed comparisons between various groups of English language professionals living in Switzerland.

Project publication:
Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen & Chris Ricketts (2010). Language attrition: Measuring how ‘wobbly’ people become in their L1. In: Galliker, Esther & Andrea Kleinert (eds), Messen in der Linguistik. Beiträge zu den 5. Tage der Linguistik (Series eds: Werlen, Erika, Gérald Schlemminger & Thorsten Piske, Sprachenlernen Konkret! Angewandte Linguistik und Sprachvermittlung, 9). Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren. 41-61.