The Role of L2 Input in the Acquisition of English Non-Pleonastic Constructions to Reset L1 Parameters by Saudi Arabic Speakers

Hanan Mohammed Kabli


This study examines the acquisition of non-pleonastic English constructions by first-language (L1) Saudi Arabic speakers in second language (L2) English comprising two types of pleonasm: acronym pleonasms and semantics pleonasms. It is known that Arabic speakers tend to use redundant expressions in their native language to emphasize their ideas or clarify foreign terms. This study focuses on whether advanced Saudi Arabic speakers can reset their L1 parameters in the final state of English non-pleonastic construction acquisition. The acceptability judgment task was devised to elicit participants’ judgments on these two types of pleonasms. Two groups joined the study: advanced Saudi Arabic speakers as the experiment group (n=40) and native English speakers as the control group (n=32). The experiment’s results suggested that the advanced Saudi Arabic speakers failed to reset the L1 parameters in their judgments on acronym pleonasms. However, the findings showed the Saudi Arabic speakers’ performance resembled that of the native English speakers with respect to semantics pleonasms. This study reveals that Saudi native speakers transfer their L1 properties in their L2 acquisition and fail to access UG to restructure their grammar because they lack extensive exposure to the L2 input of these constructions. The study supports the full transfer hypothesis in the acquisition of L2 constructions. In conclusion, this study provides valuable recommendations to the educational system in Saudi Arabia for implementing these constructions in curricula to enhance L2 input. 

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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