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Contact without Contact: English Digital Language Input and Its Effects on L1 Icelandic

Contact without Contact: English Digital Language Input and Its Effects on L1 Icelandic

Title: Contact without Contact: English Digital Language Input and Its Effects on L1 Icelandic
Author: Sigurjónsdóttir, Sigríður
Nowenstein, Iris   orcid.org/0000-0003-1945-163X
Þorvaldsdóttir, Þorbjörg   orcid.org/0000-0001-7069-7235
Guðmundsdóttir, Dagbjört
Date: 2020
Language: English
Scope: 606-619
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Hugvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Humanities (UI)
Department: Íslensku- og menningardeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural Studies (UI)
Málvísindastofnun (HÍ)
The Institute of Linguistics (UI)
ISBN: 978-1-57473-057-9
Series: Proceedings of the annual Boston University Conference on Language Development;44
ISSN: 1080-692X
Subject: Íslenska; Icelandic; Málnotkun; Enska sem annað mál
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1997

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Sigurjónsdóttir, Sigríður, Iris Nowenstein, Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir and Dagbjört Guðmundsdóttir. 2020. “Contact without contact: English digital language input and its effects on L1 Icelandic.” In Brown, Megan M., and Alexandra Kohut (eds.): Proceedings of the 44th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, pp. 606-619. Cascadilla Press, Somerville, Massachusetts.


onsidering work on quantitative input effects and the possible distributive characteristics of bilingual knowledge (e.g. Pearson et al. 1997; Oller, Pearson & Cobo-Lewis 2007; Thordardottir 2011 and 2014; Paradis & Grüter 2014; Unsworth 2015 and 2016), should we expect English digital language input through contextual learning to impact the domestically dominant but globally small L1, Icelandic? The direct and indirect effects of an L2 on an L1 are well-known in various contexts (e.g. in work on L1 attrition). However, the research is usually conducted in a setting where the L1 is a minority language and not the dominant language of schooling or society more broadly (e.g. Montrul 2008; Sorace 2011; Schmid 2013). In this paper, we address this understudied scenario and ask: Can a contextually learned and globally dominant L2 (English) affect a domestically dominant L1 (Icelandic) through digital language input? In particular, our research questions are: (1) a. Does English digital language input entail a reduction of L1 input for children acquiring Icelandic in Iceland? b. If it does, is the input reduction significant enough to predict individual differences in outcomes on vocabulary and grammar measures?


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