Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

How Do Non-Native Speakers of Arabic Language Acquire and Learn Morphology in Arabic? Evidence from Analysis of Three Young Acquirers: An Argentinean and Two Beninois

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

How Do Non-Native Speakers of Arabic Language Acquire and Learn Morphology in Arabic? Evidence from Analysis of Three Young Acquirers: An Argentinean and Two Beninois

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the earliest and latest morphological elements acquired by non-native speakers of Arabic language.

Methods: Three young non-native speakers (a Spanish and two Beninois) were tape-recorded, twenty-minutes each and tested based on traditional classification of words in Arabic: nouns-class, verbs-class, and function-words class. Face-to-face observations were also noted down.

Results: Results indicated that case-one had many problems regarding plurality, duality, gender, agreement between adjectives and nouns, number in general except simple numbers when used separately. Case-two produced a large number of the content-words, but again with many atypical ones. Case-three had only a few errors in patterns like broken-plural and diminutives. Additionally, case-one demonstrated a limited use of verbs, a very few or no function-words, case-two showed a quiet number of verbs compared to case one's poor use of verbs, and function-words as well, and case-three proved to have good command of nouns-class, verbs-class and function-words-class.

Conclusions: Cases 1-3 are alike yet dissimilar in terms of acquired and non-acquired morphological patterns. These variances were shown clear through the produced morphological patterns by each and may be affected by the period spent in the Saudi Arabia and amount of language each one of them has been exposed to.

Keywords: Arabic language, Morphology acquisition, Noun-words class, Verb-words class, Function-words class

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1. Introduction

How language is acquired in general is a very fascinating yet mysterious topic that linguists and specialists from other fields struggle to know. Yet, what is more fascinating and mysterious is acquiring or/and learning a second language by L2 acquirer and/or learner. This study focused on morphology acquisition and/learning by L2 learners. It is an embedded-multiple-case study, where in three cases whose first languages are different have been recorded and then the data-collected have been analyzed in terms of similarities and dissimilarities among acquired morphological patterns.

Actually, it is being observed that both acquirers and learners of Arabic language as a second language (ASL) face many problems during acquisition and learning processes. However, one of the major problems which non-native speakers meet is acquiring and learning the morphology of Arabic language, that is, they may come and leave to any of the Arab countries, with same problems. Due to this, it is worthwhile to investigate this area which will help first to see how this component of language is acquired or/and learned by young non-native speakers of Arabic language, and also to decide on the nature of the difficulties met by such L2 acquirers/learners of the Arabic language.

Very little data has been written about the acquisition of morphology in Arabic by L2 learners or/and acquirers. Following this claim, the researcher does this research with the hope that it will draw the attentions of other researchers to work in this field and investigate such area.

1.1 First Language Acquisition

How each and every one of us acquires his/her first language is still an unanswerable question till now. In spite of the made attempts and theories which have been evolved explaining such world phenomenon; they all have reached questionable findings, controversial conclusions, even if they are plausible. However, from the major theories of first language acquisition can be mentioned here to help then explaining theories of second language acquisition in relation to this research-paper.

Generally, the major language acquisition theories are four, namely: behaviourims, innatism, interactionsim, and connectionism. Skinner who was pioneer in proposing this approach assumes that language is acquired through imitation which then develops into habits. Later on, these habits will go under practice and then the language is formulated. …

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