The Influence Of Learners ' First Language

948 WordsMay 5, 20164 Pages
The influence of learners’ first language (L1) plays a significant role in learning a second language (L2). In general, numerous studies have been investigating L1 transfer. In specific, the influence of Arabic, more specifically Saudi Arabic, in learning English has been examined to demonstrate the native language transfer in L2 learning (Binturki, 2008; Grami and Alzughaibi, 2012; among others). Based on the influence of L1 and universal markedness (things that are present in a small number of languages), Eckman (1977) proposes the Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH). It helps predicting errors that L2 learners will have based on a comparison between L1 and L2 and universal markedness. The aim of the present study is to examine to what extent the MDH can account for mispronunciation of word-final voiced stops by Saudi Arabian learners of English. The results of this study contradict the MDH. Despite the fact that both Saudi Arabic and English have voiced stops word-finally, the Saudi Arabian learners did not produce the voiced stops in coda positions correctly. The subjects tended mostly to either substitute or devoiced final voiced stops. This paper will start with a brief discretion of the word-final voiced stops (/b d g/) in Saudi Arabic and English. Then, an explanation about the MDH is involved followed by the section of data source and analysis, and finally conclusion. Review of Literature English and Arabic Stops In this section, I present a brief
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