ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

4pSC7. Intelligibility of Arab's production of English intonation.

Fares Mitleb

Dept. of English, Yarmouk Univ., Irbid, Jordan

This paper was intended to test the intelligibility of English intonation spoken by Arabs learning English as a foreign language. Two native British speakers heard English sentences produced by two native British speakers and six Arabs to decide whether a sentence is said with a falling or rising tune. Findings indicated that most Arabs confused the two English tunes to a significant level. They showed insensitivity to the two intonation patterns, a situation that might have resulted from the priority given to the teaching of segmental units of the target language. Therefore, the question of priority to at least the incorporation of intonational information and other suprasegmentals in the teaching process right from the outset is reconsidered. [Research supported by Yarmouk University.]