A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS OF RELATIVE CLAUSE GRAMMAR IN BOTH ARABIC AND ENGLISH
As with any language learning process, learning English relative clauses is not an easy task for a number of reasons. Moreover, learning relative clauses by English language learners whose mother-tongue is Arabic is faced with difficulty for many. Learners of English relative clauses, with an Arabic first language, come across areas of similarity and difference regarding rule formation in both English and Arabic. These similarities and differences could be a major source of positive and negative transfer. Also, known within contrastive studies and error analysis. This paper supports and highlights such limited findings. Arabic mother-tongue learners of English encounter difficulties in their use of the English relative clauses because of negative transfer. The Arabic language has relative clause formation rules that function both similarly to English, in parts, and differently, in other parts. Thus, notions which are encoded differently than in that of the English language is found to cause noticeable mistakes and errors by learners. Given the fact that relative clauses are one of the most frequent grammatical structures used in the English language, as well as in Arabic, this paper has aimed to pin down such an important issue. The aim of this paper is to pinpoint limited findings and limited studies regarding English relative clauses' use by Arabic native speakers. This is done by illustrating how the differences between the Arabic and English languages in concern to relative clauses' formation rules cause learners of English with an Arabic mother-tongue to make repeatable mistakes and errors in their English learning process, specifically with regard to relative clause grammar and formation rules.
Keywords: Relative Clauses, Transfer, Mother-Tongue