This paper compares Arabic and English speech rhythms to increase awareness of this neglected and often misunderstood topic in foreign language acquisition. Unlike previous studies, we adopt a phonological view of speech rhythm rather than an isochrony-based phonetic view. We detail the components of speech rhythm at the word and utterance levels in Arabic and English focusing on the rhythmical differences that would affect the learners’ rhythm of both languages negatively. Findings suggest that Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Jordanian-Ammani Arabic (JAA), unlike English, should be placed at the lower end of the rhythmic continuum. The study opens new directions for future research and concludes with pedagogical implications for learners of Arabic and English.
Mohammed Nour Abu Guba, Shehdeh Fareh, Sane Yagi
Arabic, English, rhythm, sentence stress