The acquisition of morphosyntax presents challenges for learners of all second/foreign languages. This cross-sectional study investigated English-speaking learners’ morphosyntactic accuracy in the symmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in subject-initial sentences) and in the asymmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in verb-initial sentences) in Arabic. In addition, it examined the extent to which their accuracy rates were reflected in implicit exposure to and explicit presentation of those structures. The results of a prompted production task showed that first-, second-, and third-year learners exhibited low morphosyntactic accuracy rates only in the asymmetrical type. In addition, the production of Group 2 (second-year) and Group 3 (third-year) was patterned after that of Group 1 (first-year) in the symmetrical type but exhibited greater variation in the asymmetrical type. Implications for explicit textbook presentation and instruction of morphosyntactic intricacies are discussed.
- grammatical accuracy
- Modern Standard Arabic and dialects
- second language
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Linguistics and Language