Sound production by Saudi Arabic-English bilingual children and Saudi monolingual children
Currently, not much is known about the impact of English learning on Arabic rhotic production in bilingual children. In fact, to date, only one study has addressed rhotic production in Lebanese-English bilingual children. Therefore, more research is needed to have a better understanding of this subject. This study aimed to investigate rhotic production patterns of 10 Saudi Arabic-speaking monolingual children and 12 Saudi Arabic-English bilingual children between the ages of 6 years and 15 years. The focus was mainly on describing the target like /r/ and error patterns for each group in order to explore the influence of English on Arabic rhotic production. This study employed a between-subjects research design, in which audio recordings of the children’s Arabic rhotic productions in a picture naming task were transcribed and analysed. The results showed that the differences between the two groups were statistically significant. Bilinguals showed a smaller number of the target-like /r/ with different error patterns which reflected the influence of the English language on their Arabic rhotic production. Finally, the relation between the difficulty of /r/ production in different word positions was unclear and needed further research.