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The Perception and Production of /p/ in Saudi Gulf Arabic English: A Variationist Perspective

Title:

The Perception and Production of /p/ in Saudi Gulf Arabic English: A Variationist Perspective

Buali, Imad (2010) The Perception and Production of /p/ in Saudi Gulf Arabic English: A Variationist Perspective. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Using sociolinguistic methodology for data collection and analysis, this paper investigates the variation in the perception and production of the phoneme /p/ by Saudi learners of English as a foreign or second language (EFL/ESL). Since /p/ is not in the Arabic phonological inventory, it is expected that native Arabic speakers learning a language containing /p/ will have difficulty with it, consequently exhibiting variation in their perception and production. The study set out to explore the interaction between perception and production and to determine which phonological (i.e., following vowels) and stylistic environments (i.e., levels of formality) favour target-like /p/ perception and production.
This study took place in Montreal, Quebec. A group of male participants (ranging in age from 15 to 20 years) were recruited from a private language school, where they were taking ESL classes. They were given one perception task and three production tasks representing three different levels of formality. The results were analyzed statistically using the statistical analytical program Goldvarb X.
The results reveal that there is no correlation between perception and production for the group of learners included in this study. As for following vowels, none of the categories considered were found to favour target-like perception or production to a statistically significant degree. Finally, contrary to what was hypothesized, the least formal of stylistic environments was found to favour more target-like production of /p/. These results suggest that, for Arabic learners, a focus on /p/ is needed both in the classroom and in the development of teaching materials.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Buali, Imad
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:16 December 2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cardoso, Walcir
ID Code:7001
Deposited By:IMAD A. BUALI
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 10:48
Last Modified:20 Jun 2011 08:34
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