Sophia Radke

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Native-level proficiency in a second language is difficult to attain, especially in pronunciation. Many learners have a “foreign accent” no matter how fluent they are. This paper focuses on the pronunciation (phonological) challenges that adult native speakers of Arabic experience with the consonants of American English. The study applies the predictions of the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis, which claims that a language learner will have the most difficulty pronouncing sounds that are most different from any sounds that exist in their first language. The findings are that Arabic speakers will have no problem pronouncing sounds that exist in both languages, but sounds that do not exist in Arabic at all, such as /tʃ/ (“ch”) will be difficult. Other sounds, including /p/, /v/, /g/, will be difficult based on the surrounding sounds. The level of difficulty should vary based on whether the sound exists and where the sound occurs in Arabic vs. English.

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.