Document Type



In the field of second language acquisition (SLA), research has shown that one’s first language (L1) has proven to positively and negatively transfer to one’s second language (L2). A possible area of transfer is subject-verb agreement. Transfer becomes much more difficult when two languages utilize different writing scripts. What remains unknown, and what the present study aims to determine is if transfer of subject-verb agreement can occur between two languages that use different writing scripts. This study examines five L1 Arabic/English participants in their acquisition of Spanish subject-verb agreement by recording their reaction time for reading Spanish sentences with subject-verb (dis)agreement. A control group of three L1 English participants were presented with the same sentences and their reaction time was also recorded. The reaction times of the participants revealed that the L1 Arabic/English speakers spent more time analyzing the verb disagreement than did the L1 English speakers. The results show that these L1 Arabic/English participants are sensitive to subject-verb disagreements.


Foreign Languages

Thesis Comittee

Ryan LaBrozzi (Thesis Director)

Alba Aragón

Minae Savas

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.