5pSC12. Arabs' stress placement in English: Intelligibility test.

Session: Friday Afternoon, May 17

Time: 3:45

Author: Fares Mitleb
Location: English Dept., Yarmouk Univ., Irbid, Jordan


This study was intended to give an impressionistic description of Arabs' performance in English stress placement. Two native British English speakers were asked to evaluate the productions of English words by six Arabs. Findings indicated that the Arab subjects' ``conscious knowledge'' of a stressful speaking situation was less than satisfactory. Listeners reported a great percentage of confusion in stress placement. A number of explanations were attempted for the intelligibility problem which arises from the misplacement of stress in the subjects' productions. It was also inferred from the confusion Arabs made that suprasegmentals should be given emphasis in the teaching of foreign languages and should be taught simultaneously with segmental structure of the target tongue. [Research supported by Yarmouk Univ.]

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996