Why is “John Ran to the House” the Same as “John Went to the House Running” in Arabic?

  •  Hanan M. Kabli    


The study explores how Arabic has the same conflation pattern characteristics as English even though it belongs to Verb-framed Languages. A focused-group approach is used to evaluate the effect of the first language (L1) and the potential role of proficiency in the acquisition of the English directional preposition ‘to’ with manner-of-motion to goal construction. One group consists of Saudi speakers at two levels of development; an intermediate and advanced proficiency levels; whereas, the second group (control group) comprises of English native speakers. Acceptability Judgment Task associated with video animation clips is designed to elicit participants’ judgments in the depicted event. Results indicated that the intermediate Saudi speakers accept the directional preposition ‘to’ with and without boundary-crossing event, as is the case of their L1, which was opposite for the advanced and native English speakers for the without boundary-crossing event. The advanced Saudi speakers accept the constructions of encoding the manner with the motion and expressing the manner as the complement depicting an appropriate description of the event, reflecting L1 influence. All the group’s judgment varies based on the acceptance to conflate the manner with the motion overexpressing manner as a complement in an event without boundary-crossing.

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