Typological Universals of Agreements in Arabic Second Language Acquisition

Moh'd Ahmad Al-Omari, Ekab Y. Al-Shawashreh, Abdallah T. Alshdaifat, Anas I. al Huneety, Bassil M. Mashaqba


This study investigated the cognitive relevance of typological universal grammar in second language acquisition. It addressed whether constraints that hold for primary languages hold also for interlanguages. To answer this question, two Greenbergian implicational universals were tested on the mental grammar of nine Javanese-Indonesian learners of Jordanian Arabic. Results revealed that none of the participants acquired gender agreements in Arabic verb phrases (i.e. the marked pattern) without acquiring number agreements (the unmarked pattern). Similarly, participants’ level of accuracy for subject-verb (SV) number agreements (i.e. the unmarked pattern) was similar to or higher than their level of accuracy for verb-subject (VS) number agreements (i.e. the marked pattern). The research findings were discussed in view of Eckman’s Structure Conformity Hypothesis (1991).


Typological Universal Grammar, Structure Conformity Hypothesis, Arabic SLA.

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