Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.618333
Title: The acquisition of English articles by Arabic speakers
Author: Awad, Dina
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
Mastering the English Article system is a long tern challenge for L2 learners. The difficulty originates from the fact that appropriate usage requires stacking multiple functions into limited forms, the numerous exceptions to the rules and the mismatch between the grammatical criteria of countability and number that determine the appropriate supply of the indefinite article and the lexical-pragmatic values on which definiteness depends. In addition, differences between the first and target languages can also cause problems even for advanced learners. We investigated the use of English articles in the production of Arab university students by collecting data from three different tests that varied in the degree of control and the type of knowledge they examine. Development was followed cross sectionally after dividing the participants into three proficiency level groups according to their scores on the Oxford Placement Test. Statistical analyses were performed to calculate the differences across groups, tasks and compare between learners' use of the two articles. The results were also compared to findings from other L2 studies to determine whether the development map corresponds to/differs from the tendencies of learners from other L1 backgrounds. It was found that Arabic influenced the participants' decisions to a large extent, especially at lower levels. In other respects error patterns paralleled those of other L2 learners. The definite article was mastered before the indefinite while the correct marking of non-referential bare nominals (zero article) seemed to be the most difficult aspect of article use to master. The results suggest that task type influenced learner's choices considerably. Finally, faulty associations between definiteness and linguistic notions of specificity. pre-modification and concreteness in learner hypotheses caused variability in L2 article production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.618333  DOI: Not available
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