The Perception of English Modals among Arab Language Learners

Mahmoud Al-Qudah, Ayman Yasin

Abstract


This paper aims at investigating the acquisition of English modality among Arab learners of English as a foreign language. Specifically, the study limits itself to the perception of modal verbs as a means of expressing modality. The productive use of modal verbs were analyzed by examining written texts made by 26 fourth-year students majoring in Applied English at the University of Jordan. Moreover, the meaning and function of modal verbs were investigated by asking the subjects to explicitly determine them in given sentences. The subjects were also asked to translate these sentences into their native language in an attempt to investigate the effect of the native language on the perception of modality. The study concludes that there is a gap in the use of English modal verbs as a way of expressing modality. It was found that the differences between Arabic and English modality seems to play an integral role in the misperception of English modality among Arab learners. Other factors, like teaching methods, seem to widen the gap.

 


Keywords


Modality, modal verbs, Arabic, translation

Full Text:

PDF

References


Al-Sabbagh, R., Diesner, J. and Girju, R. (2013). ‘Using the semantic-syntactic interface for reliable Arabic modality annotation’. International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, pp.410–418.

Amin, B. (1979). The Arabic Eloquence in its New Form. Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lilmalayin.

Al Qinai, Jamal (2008). ‘Pragmatic Interpretation in Translated texts’. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 5: 9-36.

Badran, D. (2001). ‘Modality and ideology in translated political texts’. Nottingham Linguistic Circular, 16: 41-61.

Besga, C (1995). ‘Modals and Modality in English’. Miscelánea: A journal of English and American studies, 16: 165-188.

Brewer, N.M. (1987). Modality and factivity: one perspective on the meaning of English modal auxiliary. PhD dissertation, University of Leeds.

Halliday, M.A.K. (2014). Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Routledge.

Huddlestone, R. (1984). Introduction to the Grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jumingac, M.F. amd Othmand, M.S. (2015). ‘Critical review about the differences of the linguistic mood between Arabic and English languages’. Journal of Advances in Linguistics. 5(3): 661-666.

Lyons, J (1977). Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mitkovska, Liljana and Buzarovska, Eleni and Kusevska, Marija (2014) ‘Corpus evidence for the acquisition of modal verbs of obligation by Macedonian Learners of English’. Continual professional development - opportunities and challenges, 1(1): 55-63.

Moshref, O.A. (2012). Corpus Study of Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Diglossic Speech in Cairine Arabic. PhD. Dissertation, University of Illinois.

Mukhaini, Yasser (2008). Modality in Legal Texts: an Analytic study in Translation between English and Arabic. PhD Dissertation, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Olaniyan, K. (2015). ‘Modality in statement of objectives in art-based research article abstracts’. British Journal of English Linguistics, 3(1): 42-51.

Palmer, F R. (1979). Modality and the English Modals. London: Longman.

Perkins, Michael. (1980). The Expression of Modality in English. Doctoral dissertation, Council for National Academic Awards.‏

Saeed, J.I. (1997). Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Saeed, A. T. (2009). ‘Arab learners’ acquisition of modals’. Research in Language, 7: 75-98.

Sabri, N. (2011). ‘The Iraqi learners’ acquisition order of epistemic and deontic modal verbs’. The Journal of Kuliat Al ma’moo Al Jameah. 18: 1-26.

Wided, B. (2010). Modality in English, French and Arabic Biomedical Discourse: A Contrastive Study of Drug Information Leaflets .MA. Dissertation, Mentouri University.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.3p.282

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.