Linguistics: Phonolog in Language

Introduction

Even though English is not a mother tongue to most nationals, the language has continually been adopted in worldwide communication and diplomacy. Presently, the language is being used in several national programs of study (Al-Saidat, 2009). Even though English has progressively tracked learners of diverse languages nationalities, it should be noted that learning it has never been an easy task.

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Understanding, writing, and pronunciation are some of the major features of English that cause problems for those who use English as their second language (Hammond, 2004). The feature of the English phonology that illustrates a linguistic branch concerned with the rational arrangement of sounds within languages has been in existence for a very long time (Kessler &Treiman, 1997).

Phonotactics is a linguistic branch that focuses on the control in an arrangement of language phonemes. Jabbariand Samavarchi (2011) asserts that all languages have distinctive phonology that seems alike but to a certain extent, dissimilar.

When English words have complex phonological arrangements, learners get difficulties in learning them. An assessment carried out by Al-Saidat’s on the use of English phonotactics concerning Arabic English learners can best explain this difficulty.

Article Summary

Individuals whose English is not their mother tongue have always experienced speech slips. Little has been known about the cause of such communication errors. Owing to the existence of dissimilar phonological rules in different languages, a time it is essential to divide words learned into syllables (Whalen & Dell, 2006).

The article by Al-Saidat on the phonological study of the English phonotactics among the Arabic English learners focuses on investigating the phonotactic issues connected with learning the English language by the Arabic students (Al-Saidat, 2009). In the study, the investigators wanted to find out the pronunciation difficulties experienced by Arabic English learners.

Similarly, the study wanted to find out the exact problems caused by Arabic inter-languages. The article examined how the differences in the phonological rules in pronunciation influenced the division of some consonant groups into syllables to improve the learning process in these students.

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As identified by Jabbari and Samavarchi (2011) as well as Cody and Aslin (2004), differences in the phonological rules between the non-native English learners and the English phonological rules force the division of syllables of words learned to match the phonological controls of the learners.

Considered that English is a foreign language in many nations, several factors may contribute to the phonological controls that force the division of syllables in new ways to improve English learning among the non-native speakers (Estes, Edwards &Saffran, 2011).

In investigating the phonological controls preventing the ability to learn English among the Arabic learners, Al-Saidat (2009) aims at finding out, classifying, and examining the mistakes of inclusion made in the field of pronunciation by the Arab students. Also, the study is focused on studying the possible causes of mistakes distinguished in the English pronunciation among Arab learners (Al-Saidat, 2009).

Lastly, the reading proposes probable education advances and measures that would help the instructors to overcome such difficulties. It brings together the experimental facts from the students aged 24 years old who speak the Ammani dialect that is a sub-language of Arabic.

The chosen learners were then asked to read some words written in English that were designed by the investigator’s researcher to recognize pronunciation problems experienced due to the phonological diversity.

Usually, Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) contributes to the key syllabic methods that are likely to manipulate patterns in expression among the learners. Several phonological controls come about in the words of this language prototype (Chambers, Onishi& Fisher, 2010).

Before talking about the pronunciation mistakes made by the members, the study categorizes some syllabic structural differences in the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and that of the Ammani language. The syllabuses are different in the structure of consonants and vowels within words.

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Zamuner, Gerken, and Hammond (2004) suggest that investigators have used several approaches in analyzing consciousness of the English speakers to inspect the prototype of CVC non-words. In studying the mistakes connected to the pronunciation of the English words among the students, the investigators identified three forms of mistakes made by the member in the communication.

These mistakes included the inclusion mistakes, the replacement mistakes, and the removal mistakes in the expression of the English words. In the grouping process, insertion errors among the Ammani Arabic languages receive the most research attention, and the study assumes the replacement and the removal mistakes.

Concerning problems connected to inclusion mistakes, the investigators realized that that vowel /ɪ/is the single vowel sound that regularly presents challenges and causes inclusion mistakes within different positions of words (Al-Saidat, 2009). Moreover, some consonants face inclusion challenges within the Arabic English syllabuses.

The insertion of /ɪ/ in the onset is most evident in dealing with the English monosyllabic words where three consonants (CCC) cause challenges to the Arabic English learners, as the native Arabic speakers originally never permitted these consonant groups. Al-Saidat (2009) believes that mother tongue, age, and character greatly determine the English pronunciation.

Wrapping up, the investigators realized that mother tongue greatly forces de-grouping and inclusion of vowels /ɪ/ in the English word’s pronunciation among the Arabic learners. In suggesting the possible teaching procedures that would help with pronunciation difficulties, Al-Saidat (2009) suggests that teachers should first bring in syllable patterns of the student’s mother tongue.

After that, they should bring in longer syllable patterns of English, and at last contrast syllable patterns of both languages to identify the dissimilarities. Teachers should emphasize more on foreign syllabus patterns to remove pronunciation mistakes.

Article evaluation

The article by Al-Saidat’s article investigates the phonological problems commonly made by the Arabic English learners, in particular, the problems concerning pronunciation difficulties encountered by these learners. In this reading, the selection of respondents may greatly determine the results of the study that only control to identify vowel /ɪ/ as the most inserted sound in the English pronunciation.

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Age of the participants employs the use of experienced old respondents, and the likelihood of getting the final mother tongue influence in pronunciation is very small.

This approach is unlike other approaches used by other investigators. Jabbari and Samavarchi (2011) use children aged between 4-6 years. Estes, Edwards, and Saffran (2011) use 18-month-old children. Zamuner, Gerken, and Hammond (2004) use younger participants for better results.

Another important aspect where investigators fail in their study is Level of education among participants. Whalen and Dell (2006) assert that phonological conversation errors make known the levels of the linguistic ease present among the speakers. In this study, experienced public university finalists were engaged.

Concerning knowledge, there is a high likelihood that despite learners being non-native English speakers, their educational experience determined their word pronunciation. Surroundings can greatly affect the pronunciation of learners. Thus, testing the English pronunciation among learners would confirm this (Silverman, 2000).

The major participants of the study are the Ammani language representatives of the Jordanian Arabic community who at present seem to remain in the direct influence of Turkish, French, and English. This Semitic language arrangement may not have a major section of the Arabic speaking collection. Therefore, there are chances that these members have dissimilar accents in pronunciation.

Because there is no section of the study that gives details of how the investigators identified the native language setting of the members it is simple to suppose that the outcomes could not take a broad view of the phonological problems studied to the entire Arabic community.

Phonological controls are caused by mother tongue influence, something that needs a resolution. By suggesting that teachers should set up syllable examples of the learners’ mother tongue, will aggravate the English phonological problems.

Conclusion

With the adoption of English as a global business, communication, and diplomatic language, several issues have arisen from people whose English is their second language. Although this language keeps the lead the global issues and coming into view in almost every state-run program of study, English education has never been easy.

Just like other non-native English speakers, Arabic learners have diverse phonology making it hard for them to manage most English word pronunciations. Al-Saidat’s (2009) study aims at examining the English phonotactics among the Arabic English learners, where pronunciation issues protract from the participants.

In the English word pronunciation, the study identified insertion, substitution, and deletion pronunciation errors as the major issues among the Ammani Arabic dialects. However, the study by Al-Saidat (2009) only manages to ascertain the insertion errors linked to vowel /ɪ/ and some very few errors in the consonant patterns.

The probable errors that investigators committed, leading to inaccurate results are that they employed the use of experienced and learned participants. This implies that their experiences and education largely influenced their pronunciation.

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