Are Arabic listeners “stress deaf” to their own L2 pronunciation?
This study investigates to what extent Arabic speakers, whose L1 has predictable lexical stress, are “stress deaf” and whether their L1 prosodic properties influence their L2 stress perception. Arabic L2 English speakers and L1 English speakers performed an identification task with English nonce words produced by English and Arabic speakers. The results reveal that the Arabic speakers had more difficulty than the English speakers in identifying stress regardless of whether the words were produced by Arabic or English speakers, confirming their stress deafness in general. The Arabic speakers, nevertheless, exhibited greater sensitivity to stress produced by other Arabic speakers, especially in the position expected for Arabic, indicating further the effect of L1 prosodic properties on their perception of L2 stress.
- 2.Background: Perception of L2 stress and L1 prosodic properties
- 2.1The role of L1 in L2 stress perception
- 2.2Prosodic properties of stress in English and Arabic
- 3.The present study
- 3.1Experimental investigation of the perception of English stress by Arabic speakers
- 3.3Stimuli: Structure
- 3.4Stimuli: Recording
- 3.5Stimuli: Selection
- 3.6Stimuli: Acoustic properties
- 3.7Perception task procedure
- 3.8Data analysis