- Editor’s Note
I am thrilled with the publication of this full volume of Al-‘Arabiyya comprising six articles. Three articles contribute to Arabic first-language acquisition, two to Arabic second-language acquisition, and one to the rhetoric of argumentation in medieval Arabic poetry. Some of them engage long-standing debates and issues in new meaningful ways, and others raise new ones.
The article by Michael Grosvald and Tariq Khwaileh reports on a syntactic priming study of passive constructions in Arabic English bilinguals, as speakers of two typologically distant languages. The study examines whether analogous sentence structures share the same underlying representation across languages. The outcomes are couched within shared-syntax and separate-syntax accounts of sentence processing in bilinguals.
In their article, D. Eve Olson and Rachel Hayes-Harb report on an acoustic study of voice onset time (VOT) of stop consonants in the speech production of two groups of native Arabic and native English participants. The study investigates stop consonants shared by the two languages as well as whether the lack of contrasting /p/ and /ɡ/ in Arabic has observable consequences for the production of VOT for /b/ and /k/, respectively.
In his article, Abdulkafi Albirini addresses the claim that Standard Arabic (SA) is a second language for native speakers of Arabic because, rather than being acquired naturally at home, it is acquired later in school and used in educational and other formal settings. Some recent neurolinguistic and experimental studies cited in the article make a similar claim. The study investigates the issue empirically by further examining whether Arabic speakers’ proficiency in SA converges with their proficiency in Colloquial Arabic or English.
Through his article, Dris Soulaimani explores language ideologies and language attitudes toward Moroccan Arabic (versus Eastern Arabic varieties) through a discourse analysis study conducted within a study-abroad context. The study includes findings on how a study-abroad experience can affect such language ideologies and influence the sociolinguistic awareness of student participants. [End Page v]
Guilnard Moufarrej and Charbel Salameh discuss the role of songs in vocabulary learning based on a study of American-English-speaking learners of Arabic as an L2. The study employs colloquial (Lebanese) songs in the context of a Modern Standard Arabic curriculum. Through the study findings, Moufarrej and Salameh highlight the possible beneficial role of songs both as a source of infusing motivation and engagement in the Arabic L2 classroom and as a tool to address the issue of diglossia in teaching Arabic.
Mufleh Al-Hweitat offers a textual analysis of Al-Mutanabbī’s ‘Ayniyya ode by employing elements of argumentation theory in literary discourse, by examining the underlying threads and units that govern the overall structure of the ode, and by linking the text to its immediate context. Through such a reading, Al-Hweitat demonstrates that the argumentative orientation of the ode is apparent, revealing the poet’s stance being exhibited at two levels, at the collective and individual level, and that Al-Mutanabbī was effective in his use of linguistic, poetic, rhetorical, and stylistic devices from beginning to end.
The book review section contains five reviews of books whose contents and scope relate to teaching Arabic language, teaching Arabic literature, gender in literature, and short stories. It is the intention and objective of Al-‘Arabiyya to maintain a steady output of at least five to six book reviews per volume. On this note, and on behalf of AATA, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Gregory Bell, who decided to step down as book review editor at the conclusion of his five years of service, and to welcome Dris Soulaimani as the new book review editor.
[End Page vi]