The Semantics of -Ship and -Hood from a Foreign Language Learner's Perspective
International Journal of Arabic-English Studies (IJAES), Vol. 9, 2008
16 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2017 Last revised: 29 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2008
This paper reports on the findings of a large-scale study on how a group of EFL learners at university interact with the semantics of -ship and -hood. The data are elicited through a written task consisting of sixteen sentences, each containing a word that is normally suffixed with –ship or -hood. The subjects are asked to judge whether each sentence is error-free or faulty. If they decide that a certain sentence is erroneous, they are requested to identify the error and then correct it. The findings indicate the subjects do not find the semantics of -ship harder than that of -hood. It seems that the variation in accuracy scores is ascribed to the subjects' familiarity or unfamiliarity with particular items rather than to inherent difficulty associated with the suffix itself. Moreover, the findings suggest that the subjects' correction attempts are not consistent with their attempts to identify errors. Hence, it may be argued that only a high percentage of accurate judgments coupled with a similar high percentage of correction can be taken as an indication of the acquisition of the proposed constraints.
Keywords: semantics, EFL learners, suffixes
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