Contrastive Analysis of English and Arabic Vowels

2912 WordsDec 24, 201212 Pages
Contrastive Analysis of English and Arabic Vowels Contrastive Analysis of English and Arabic Vowels Contrastive Analysis of English and Arabic Vowels Introduction: Sounds are divided into consonants and vowels. A consonant is a speech sound which obstructs the flow of air through the vocal tract. A vowel is the class of sound which makes the least obstruction to the flow of air. Vowels are almost always found at the centre of a syllable, and it rare to find any sound other than a vowel which is able to stand alone as a whole syllable (Roach, 1992). Each vowel has a number of properties that distinguish it from other vowels. These include; the shape of the lips, which may be rounded, neutral, or spread. The second property is the position of the tongue, which could be front, middle, or back. Finally, the tongue may be raised giving different vowel qualities. Vowels in English and Arabic have similarities and differences. They are different in number; English has more vowels than Arabic. They also differ in distribution; English words can begin with vowels, whereas Arabic words can only begin with consonants. Both languages have some common vowels, but at the same time, there are some vowels that are restricted to each one of them. Contrary to English which has a larger vowel system containing about nine simple vowels and seven longer vowels, Arabic has only three short and three long vowels. (Kara, 1976). This paper presents a contrastive analysis of English and Arabic vowels, showing the differences between them in production and use. It also discusses the difficulties that Arabs learning English face when learning English. The discussion will be based on the comparison between standard American English and standard Arabic. Table of Contents * Introduction * The Arabic Vowels……………………………….5 - 6 * Description of vowels in

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