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Comparison of Phonemic Level of English and Arabic Course Professor a. Consonant Sounds In English, there are 24 phonemes in its consonant system ranging from stops, fricatives, affricates, nasals, liquids to semi-vowels…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) has 28 consonants ranging from fricatives, stops, lateral nasals, trill and semi-vowels. In addition, the Arabic consonant system is divided into two distinctive classes, which are emphatic and pharyngeal phonemes. Moreover, Arabic also has emphatic consonants such as /t/, /d/, /?/, and /s/. The table below 1 represents distribution of Arabic consonants Initial Medial Final /b/ bajt ?abd ba?b /t/ tarjama Xatama bu?t /d/ darb izdija?d Suru?d /k/ kam masku?n sikak /q/ qumtu baqqAl Dalq /?/ ?an ja?s bari?? /b?/ - qabbala dubb /t?/ - qAttala batt /d?/ - qaddama madd /k?/ - taSakkur Sakk The table below shows the plot of English consonants On a closer observation, Arabic has 13 phonemes, for instance, /t ?/, /t ?/,/s/, /x/, /?/, /d?/, /d?/, /q/, /?/, /?/, /?/, /?/, and /r/. Though Arabic and English share some phonemes, they differ in phonological rules, which limit concurrence of some allophones. For example, in English, the phoneme /l/ is considered a velarized allophone at the end of words while in Arabic the same phoneme is realized as non-velarized at the end of words. In addition, the distribution of allophones is different in English and Arabic whereby the bilabial [p], which is voiceless and the bilabial [b], which is voiced occur as allophones of two phonemes in English (Amer 2010). In contrast, in Arabic the [p] occurs prior to the voiceless consonant, but [b] occurs somewhere else. Others such as /d/ and /t/ in Arabic are dental, but in English are alveolar while /v/ does not occur completely in Arabic. This may cause difficulties for Arabic learners of English due to contrasts in English such as /f?n/ fan and/v?n/ van. The sound /l/ occurs both in Arabic and English; however, in Arabic /?/ it is restricted to words like /???a:h/. Therefore, /l/ in Arabic is used in positions of medial, final and initial while in English, /l/ is used in the position of initial and medial (Watson, 2002). Another sound that is entirely different in English and Arabic languages is /r/ whereby it is a tongue tip trill in Arabic and a back alveolar in English. Therefore, this may present a problem for learners of English from the Arabic language because they attempt to the English /r/ with the Arabic one. b. Consonant Clusters Consonant cluster is also another element of phonemic that presents several differences among the two languages. In English, two or more consonants may follow one another to create consonant clusters or sequences. For example, for three consonant clusters: sleep, dogs, cuts, for three consonant clusters: risked, plunged, street, for seven consonant clusters: tempts strangers. Consonants can occur at the final position or initial position in English words, for example, “some of the consonants at the beginning of word are /b/ followed by /l, r, j/ as in bright, blame, beautiful, /g/ followed by /l, r/ as in gross, glare and /k/ followed by /l, r, w, j/ as in queen, clip, queue, crime” (Ladefoged 2001, p.56). On the other hand, there are other consonants that appear at the end of English words, for example, /t/ and /d/ as in wished, plunged, raised, risked, /s/ and /z/ as in yields, eats, risks and gives and /s/ and /z as in facts, fields, dogs, and books. In Arabic, there is no particular sequence for two or more consonants occurring in final and medial position. Arabic cluster involves breaking of the consonant cluster by an intrusive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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