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Title:Mechanism of verbal morphology among heritage Arabic children in the US
Author(s):Al Omary, Maaly
Subject(s):Progressive aspect
code switching
Arabic heritage speakers
verbal morphology
Abstract:This research paper investigates the morphological features of verbal agreement along with the influence of MSA verbs and expressions on the oral production of child speakers of Arabic as a heritage language, specifically children of Jordanian and Syrian origin who are living in the United States. The imperfective verb, in spoken Arabic, is used to describe habitual and repeated aspects as well as to indicate the progressive aspect. Also, the participle-verb construction is used to indicate the progressive aspect. The verb following participles namely (ʔaaʕid and ʕam) invariably takes bare imperfective morphology. Also, this verb takes the same number and of the preceding participle. This current study focuses on investigating the morphological pattern of these participles (if they surface in the production of Arabic heritage speakers) and the morphological features of verbs in progressive aspect. Given the fact that the Jordanian and Syrian heritage speakers in this study have acquired the relevant variety of Arabic in early childhood along with Modern Standard Arabic, this study investigates whether participants switch between their dialects and MSA expressions and verbs. 10 children were tested in one oral production task in this study. The findings showed that while both Jordanian and Syrian heritage speakers of Arabic showed mastery in producing the morphological pattern of participles in progressive aspect structure, they showed differential acquisition of verb inflection in progressive aspect. Moreover, the result showed that both groups showed code switching and transfer from Modern Standard Arabic verbs and expressions. Lastly, these findings could have important implications with regards to pedagogical methods used for heritage learners of Standard Arabic. Keywords: Progressive aspect, participles, code switching, MSA, Arabic heritage speakers, verbal morphology
Issue Date:2020
Publisher:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers
Citation Info:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 43: 139-163.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-12-02

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