Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number1 March 2020                                     Pp. 376 -388

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Second Language Acquisition of Quantifiers by Arabic Speakers of English:   Feature
Reassembly Approach

  Rashidah Albaqami
Department of English Language,Taif University
Taif, Saudi Arabia

This paper reports on an experimental study addressing second language acquisition of English quantifiers by Arabic speakers. Due to several differences found between Arabic and English regarding types, meanings and functions of quantifiers, Arabic learners encounter challenges in mastering them properly. Unlike English, Arabic does not make lots of distinctions among the different meanings that each quantifier might bear; using the same quantifier to bear two or several meanings at the same time. Arabic, for instance, does not differentiate between countable and non-countable nouns using the same modifier in contrast to English. According to the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis (Lardiere 2005, 2009; Choi & Lardiere, 2006), second language (L2) speakers must successfully reassemble existing features of their first language (L1) into the L2 feature-based sets in order to accommodate the L2 grammar. The researcher tests the validity of this prediction for the L2 acquisition of English quantifiers, which requires Arabic learners of English to remap semantic concepts of quantity onto new and different morpholexical configurations. Data from 40 L1 Arabic learners of English at different levels of proficiency and 20 native speakers who completed a picture/sentence matching task suggest that only the meanings which require different and new semantics-morphology remapping is difficult.
Keywords: Arabic quantifiers, English quantifiers, feature reassembly hypothesis, mapping

Cite as:   Albaqami, R. (2020). Second Language Acquisition of Quantifiers by Arabic Speakers of English: Feature Reassembly Approach. Arab World English Journal, 11 (1) 376 -388.


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Albaqami, Assistant Professor in Linguistics, Department of English Language at Taif
University. My research is primarily concerned with comparative aspects of grammar, from a
theoretical standpoint. I work primarily in L2 acquisition, focusing on the L2 acquisition of
phenomena at the syntax–semantics interface, with a special interest in the L2 acquisition of
English by Arabic native speakers.