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Title: A Psycholinguistic Tool for the Assessment of Language Loss: The HALA Project 
Author: O'Grady, William; Schafer, Amy J.; Perla, Jawee; Lee, On-Soon; Wieting, Julia
Date: 2009-06
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: O'Grady, William, Amy J. Schafer, Jawee Perla, On-Soon Lee, and Julia Wieting. 2009. A Psycholinguistic Tool for the Assessment of Language Loss: The HALA Project. Language Documentation & Conservation 3(1):100-112.
Abstract: A major obstacle to the early diagnosis of language loss and to the assessment of language maintenance efforts is the absence of an easy-to-use psycholinguistic measure of language strength. In this paper, we describe and discuss a body-part naming task being developed as part of the Hawai‘i Assessment of Language Access (HALA) project. This task, like the others in the HALA inventory, exploits the fact that the speed with which bilingual speakers access lexical items and structure-building operations in their two languages offers a sensitive measure of relative language strength. In a pilot study conducted with Korean-English bilinguals, we were able to establish a strong correlation between language strength and naming times even in highly fluent bilingual speakers, in support of the central assumption underlying the HALA tests. We discuss the implications of this finding for the broader study of language strength as well as for the practical problems associated with work on language loss, maintenance, and revitalization.
Sponsorship: National Foreign Language Resource Center
Pages/Duration: 13 pages
ISSN: 1934-5275
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4427
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
Keywords: language loss, attrition, psycholinguistic, assessment

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