Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Berry, James

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the difficulties of pronouncing English clusters in word-initial position by Najdi (central area in Saudi Arabia) Saudi learners when they want to pronounce a tri-literal cluster in word-initial position in English. Twelve participants who speak the Najdi dialect were chosen to conduct this study. All of them were classified as beginning English students in the English center of the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale. To get the results, a list of 23 words and list of 42 sentences were used. The results revealed that Najdi Saudi ESL learners have difficulties in pronouncing English tri-literal clusters in word-initial position. The results showed that the short high front vowel /ɪ/ and the low-mid front /ɛ/ were inserted to break the clusters.

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