Abstract

The current article investigates crosslinguistic effects in the acquisition of three types of determiner phrases in Arabic by English speakers. These types show typological similarities, differences, and structural overlap in terms of definiteness between Arabic and English. Results of a grammaticality judgment task and a forced choice task showed an effect for the first language, although not full. With regard to the determiner phrases that show structural overlap, these are kind-denoting singulars, the results demonstrated that whereas beginning English-speaking learners of Arabic fluctuated between definite-marked nouns and bare nouns, advanced learners opted for the target Arabic definite-marked nouns. These results were couched within first language transfer effects, recovery from these effects, and the feature reassembly hypothesis (Lardiere 2009). Pedagogical implications that include the integration of definite article semantics in textbooks, the role of structured-input activities, and explicit instruction of definiteness in instructed Arabic second language acquisition are discussed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2375-4036
Print ISSN
0889-8731
Pages
pp. 1-24
Launched on MUSE
2016-11-17
Open Access
No
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