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Acquisition of the Inter-Dental Fricatives /θ/ and /ð/ in ESL/EFL and Jamaican Creole: A Comparative Study

DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41004, PP. 38-47

Keywords: Inter-Dental Fricatives, ESL/EFL, Jamaican Creole, Saudi Learners of English

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Abstract:

This study aims at investigating to what extent the linguistic processes exhibited in creolization parallel those manifested by Arab learners of English in particular and those of child language and second/foreign language in general. Another aim of the study is to highlight the link between second/foreign language learning and historical change. To this end, the speech of two speakers of the Broad Jamaican Creole was compared with the performance of Saudi school and university learners of English as a foreign language and data from child language, with respect to the pronunciation of English inter-dental fricatives /θ/ and /e/. The results show that learning in the above three situations takes place according to the same principles. Furthermore, the sound substitutions made in the three situations (i.e. [t], [d] respectively) are the same as those witnessed in historical sound change.

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