Will Emotional Effects Modulate L2 Lexical Attrition as they Do in L2 Acquisition?

Abstract

This study attempted to examine the modulation of emotional effects on L2 lexical attrition. For this purpose, a cross-sectional approach was adopted to analyze emotional effects on L2 lexical attrition with a 500-word vocabulary test taken by 188 Chinese–English bilinguals. As indicated by the results, the modulation of emotional effects on L2 lexical attrition was found to be as active as it was in L2 acquisition; Positive words did not differ from negative words in L2 attrition; All three types of emotional words shared a similar attrition pattern, that is, their attrition went very rapidly within the first 4 years, kept stable between year 5 and year 8, and resumed rapidity after the 9th year, with no significant differences in attrition rate between positive and negative words being detected at any stage. Taken together, this is one of the few studies to investigate L2 lexical attrition among Chinese–English bilinguals, and the first to examine emotional effects on L2 lexical attrition. This study supports the Revised Hierarchical Model in predicating the modulation of emotional effects on L2 lexical attrition.

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Correspondence to Chuanbin Ni.

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Ni, C., Jin, X. Will Emotional Effects Modulate L2 Lexical Attrition as they Do in L2 Acquisition?. J Psycholinguist Res 49, 583–605 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10936-020-09702-x

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Keywords

  • Emotional effects
  • L2 lexical attrition
  • Cross-sectional approach