Date of Award

8-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Alenazi, Areej

Abstract

This study examines how Aljouf Arabic speakers deal with English coda clusters containing two consonants, which will help in addressing the modification strategies used by the participants to simplify clusters. In addition, the study aims to examine whether or not markedness--based on the sonority distance-- has an effect on the participants' pronunciation. Fifteen native speakers of the Aljouf Arabic dialect were asked to read a list of twenty-five nonwords that took into account the sonority distance between C1 and C2 in clusters. Clusters in the instrument contained zero, one, and two steps of sonority. The study focuses on the production of the following clusters: liquid-obstruent, nasal-obstruent, liquid-nasal, nasal-obstruent, obstruent-obstruent and liquid-liquid. In general, the results showed that the participants tended to modify English coda clusters. They used two strategies to modify the clusters: epenthesis and deletion. Markedness based on sonority distance did not provide an explanation for participants' performance. Coda clusters in which the sonority distance is two were modified by all participants. On the other hand, some clusters in which the sonority distance is less than two were pronounced correctly by most of the participants. The clusters which were correctly pronounced by most of the participants include nasal- obstruent clusters and an obstruent-obstruent cluster.

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