Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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The acquisition of complex grammatical structures of a non-cognate language has been reported to be a daunting task for adult learners (Samimy and Tabuse, 1992; Bailey, 1983; Kleimann, 1977). In the case of Arabic morphology, this task is reported to be difficult not only for foreign learners (Bakalla, 1980; Neel, 1980) but also for native speakers (Omar, 1973). The current paper sets out to investigate the nature and the processes involved in the learning of Arabic subject-verb agreement structures by Australian advanced learners. The investigation employs explanations from second language acquisition (SLA) theories as well as from linguistic theories. It is hypothesised that (1) the amount and direction of information encoding (Person, Number and Gender) motivated by certain semantic categories and word order, as well as (2) the availability of discourse cues would influence the learners’ performance in subject-verb agreement tasks. The results reported in this paper indicate that these two factors are significantly important in predicting and accounting for the learners’ final linguistic achievement in this grammatical structure.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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