Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

BERRY, JAMES

Abstract

This study investigated two variables in relation to American English flapping among Saudi speakers. These two variables were gender and phonetic environment of flapping. For the purpose of the study, 20 Saudi university students, 10 male and 10 female, were chosen. In addition, three environments of flapping have been used in two production tasks. These environments were, flapping followed by syllabic /ɹ/, flapping followed by syllabic /l/, and flapping followed by a vowel. The two tasks were a word list and a paragraph. The results of the study revealed that female participants flapped less often than male participants in all three environments in both tasks. Female participants flapped 19% of the time in both tasks. On comparison, male participants flapped 65% of the time in both tasks. The difference between genders was high at 46%. The average of the first environment was 47% for both genders, 40% for the second environment, and 37% for the third. Age, word frequency, age of onset, and economic class did not have a significant relation in the flapping production.

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