University of Bahrain
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Phonological Transfer and Universal Grammar: Evidence from Arabic

Show simple item record Shormani,Mohammed Q. AlSohbani, Yehia Ahmed 2018-07-25T10:28:26Z 2018-07-25T10:28:26Z 2015
dc.identifier.issn 2210-1578
dc.description.abstract As language teachers and educators, we are always confronted with our students speaking English which sounds Arabic-English and not English-English. We always ask ourselves what the reason is, and sometimes even blame ourselves for that, or our students for not studying well to speak well. The very idea of “Arabic-English” implies that there is a role played by Arabic in that speaking. The role played by first languages (L1) linguistic components, be they phonological, morphological, syntactic, etc. in second language acquisition (SLA) is much advocated in the literature. This role has often been referred to as L1 „transfer‟ or otherwise interference. L1 transfer has been seen as an indispensable learning strategy made use of by second language (L2) learners at all linguistic modules of the grammar (Shormani, 2012a). L2 learners, irrespective of L1, or L2 being learned, use this strategy to resort to their L1 as a knowledge-base in L2 acquisition process (Gass &Slinker, 2008; Shormani, 2012a, 2014b). However, L1 transfer is not the only factor affecting L2 acquisition. There is almost the same portion attributed to Universal Grammar (UG) properties. Though there are ample studies concerning L1 phonological influence cross-linguistically, studies providing systematic and in-depth analyses of the Arabic phonology influence on L2 acquisition are rare, and rarer, if any at all, are the studies concerning the relation between transfer and UG, and the role they both play in acquiring English by Arabic-speaking learners. Thus, this paper aims at providing empirical evidence in support of the availability of transfer and UG in L2 acquisition, specifically, concerning acquiring phonology. 20 students majoring in English were selected randomly from two classes, namely, first and third, i.e. the same students in two different years/levels. Four phonological categories were examined, namely, consonants, vowels, stress and consonant clustering. The results indicate that both UG and transfer contribute almost equally in L2 phonology acquisition, thus, supporting the Full Transfer-Full Access hypothesis (=FTFA), first proposed by Schwartz & Sprouse (1994). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Bahrain en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International *
dc.subject SLA en_US
dc.subject Universal Grammar en_US
dc.subject transfer en_US
dc.subject Full Transfer-Full Access hypothesis en_US
dc.subject Arabic phonology en_US
dc.subject consonants en_US
dc.subject vowels en_US
dc.subject stress en_US
dc.subject consonants clustering en_US
dc.title Phonological Transfer and Universal Grammar: Evidence from Arabic en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.volume 03
dc.issue 02
dc.source.title Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education
dc.abbreviatedsourcetitle JTTE

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