The study tested the impact of the phonological distance between Spoken Arabic (SpA) and Standard Arabic (StA) on quality of phonological representations among kindergarten, first-, second-, and sixth-grade Arabic-speaking children (N = 120). A pronunciation accuracy judgment task targeted three types of StA words that varied in extent of phonological distance from their form in SpA: (a) IDENTICAL WORDS, with an identical lexical–phonological form in StA and SpA; (b) COGNATE WORDS, with partially overlapping phonological forms; items in this category varied in degree of phonological distance too; and (c) UNIQUE WORDS with entirely different lexical–phonological forms. Multilevel Regression analysis showed that phonological distance had a significant impact on quality of phonological representations across all grades. Growth in quality of phonological representations was mainly noted between the three younger groups and the sixth-graders. Implications for the impact of phonological distance on phonological representations and on language and literacy development are discussed.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||Journal of Child Language|
|State||Published - 2018|