The link between morphosyntactic accuracy and textbook presentation: The morphosyntax of subject-verb agreement in Arabic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-851
Number of pages21
JournalForeign Language Annals
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • Modern Standard Arabic and dialects
  • grammar
  • grammatical accuracy
  • learning/acquisition
  • second language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

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