LINGUIST List 24.1657

Fri Apr 12 2013

Diss: Lang Acq/Phonetics/Phonology/Arabic, Standard/English: Almbark: 'The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <>

Date: 12-Apr-2013
From: Rana Alhussein Almbark <>
Subject: The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners:The foreign language model
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Institution: University of York Program: Department of Language and Linguistic Science Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2012

Author: Rana Alhussein Almbark

Dissertation Title: The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners:The foreign language model

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition                             Phonetics                             Phonology
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (arb)                             English (eng)
Dissertation Director:
Sam Hellmuth
Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis presents an examination of the perception and productionof Standard Southern British English (SSBE) vowels by Syrian Arabic(SA) Foreign language (FL) learners. The focus of this thesis is the FLlearners who learned their English in their country and mostly by non-
native teachers. Thus, by definition, the FL learners do not have nativeEnglish input on a daily basis. This thesis reports on an empiricalinvestigation of the Second Language (L2) perceptual and productionpatterns of a group of FL learners, which has received little interest inthe literature, combining insights from current cross-language speechperception (Perceptual Assimilation Model) (Best 1994, 1995, 1999)and L2 learning models (Speech Learning Model) (Flege 1995). Thesemodels were mainly developed to account for early and advanced L2learners, respectively. Thus, this study aims to develop an account forthe perception and production of FL learners based on current L2models.

Results indicate that the specific learning context of FL learners isreflected in their perception and production patterns. For example,these learners live in a predominantly L1 environment, and their L2input is mainly taken in a classroom and mostly by local teachers.However, this study argues that though FL learners lack native L2input, they do have access to the phonology, syntax, and structures ofthe L2 via direct teaching. It is also shown that the perceptual patternsof the learners succeeded in predicting their production patterns, whichhas implications on the perception-production link for L2 learners, ingeneral, and for FL learners in particular.

The main outcome of the present thesis is that it develops an accountof the perception and production of FL learners. It outlines the mainprinciples for a proposed Foreign Language Model, in which thepeculiarities of FL learners are taken into consideration compared toother groups of learners.

Page Updated: 12-Apr-2013