This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Saturday 8 June 2024, 3.45pm to 4.45pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Law and Sociology Building, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Our native language or ‘mother tongue’ can change during our adult lives when we move to a different region or country long-term. Known as ‘native language attrition’ this can affect our identity and sense of ourselves.

Discover more at a special screening of Lost in the Middle, a short documentary by filmmaker Asten Holmes-Elliott which features a group of bilinguals/bidialectals discussing their ‘language journeys’ and how their relationship to their native language changed after migration. The film addresses how migration and learning a second language, for all its positives, can threaten the often previously unacknowledged power and security that being able to fully express yourself in your native language brings; a language that often connects you to your home, your family and your history.

The event also features a Q&A with Asten and experts in language attrition. Why not come along and share your own experiences?

Lost in the Middle is one of several outputs of The Vulnerable Native Grammars (VNG) Project, an Arts & Humanities Research Council funded collaboration between the University of Southampton and the University of York, which ran from 2020-2023.

About the speakers

Asten Holmes-Elliott is an artist and filmmaker whose work examines ideas of identity, otherness and belonging. They use a variety of mediums including illustration, painting, photography and filmmaking to research, archive and historicise fringe communities and resist their erasure and exclusion. 

Dr E Jamieson is a linguist at the University of York who studies how grammars vary and change. Their research focuses on dialects and the effects that contact between different dialects can have on an individual’s speech. They have also worked more generally on native language attrition.

Professor Monika S Schmid obtained her PhD from the University of Düsseldorf in 2000 and has since held positions at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the University of Essex. Since 2022, she has been Head of Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. She has worked and published widely on the topic of native language attrition and is considered an international leading expert in this field.


University of York AHRC

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • No hearing loop