The influence of phoneme inventory on elicited speech errors in Arabic speakers of English
Previous studies have shown that nonnative phonemic contrasts pose perceptual difficulties for L2 learners, but less is known about how these contrasts affect speech production in L2 learners. In the present study, we elicited speech errors in a tongue twister task investigating L1 Arabic speakers producing L2 English words. Two sets of word productions were contrasted: words with phonemic contrasts existing in both L1 Arabic and L2 English (e.g. tip vs dip, sing vs zing) or words with phonemic contrasts existing in English alone (pit vs bit, fat vs vat). Results showed that phonemic contrasts that do not exist in Arabic induced significantly more speech errors in L2 Arabic speakers of English compared to native English speakers than did phonemic contrasts found in both languages. Implications of these findings for representations in L2 learners are discussed.
Published online: 10 August 2018
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