This experimental study aims at investigating the English word-stress patterns used by Yemenis, learning English as a foreign language, and the erroneous stress patterns used by them. Accent or stress is a feature of high significance in English speech. At the level of a word, one syllable gets accentuated with primary stress.  To achieve the purpose of this study, and to find out to what extent word stress of Received Pronunciation English poses difficulty on Yemeni Arabic speakers using English as a foreign language, 120 subjects of various scientific disciplines, were chosen for data collection. They were recorded and their utterances went through deep analysis based on the auditory impression of the researcher and on the spectrographic evidence resulting from the speech analysis of the software program PRAAT. The most significant findings reached by the researcher were that word-stress in the four-syllable target words were the most problematic for the speakers in which 53.2% of them put the stress, randomly, on the wrong syllables in words. Three-syllable target words appeared to be less problematic as 44.4% of the participants placed the stress inaccurately in words. The least difficulties encountered by the speakers were with the two-syllable target words where 70.6% of the speakers managed to pronounce the words with correct stress placement. It is noteworthy to mention that there was a tendency among the speakers who produced wrong stress patterns, to accent either the first syllable or the one including a long vowel or a diphthong in the words.


Word Stress RP EFL Yemeni learners Error analysis


Metrics Loading ...


  1. Ali, N.A.M.S., (2000), A Contrastive study of Segmental and suprasegmental features of Arabic and English Spoken in Yemen, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India.
  2. Al-Khulaidi M.A., & Abdulkhalik, M.M., (2015), Word Accent in Yemeni English: A Phonetic Study. International Multidisciplinary Journal, 3(3) 14-26.
  3. AL-Shuaibi, A.M.A, (2006), Phonological Analysis of English Phonotactics of Syllable Initial and Final Consonant Clusters by Yemeni Speakers of English. Thesis. School of Humanities, Department of English Language Studies, University of Science Malaysia (USM), Penang State Malaysia.
  4. Cook, V.J., (1993), Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, Macmillan, Basingstock.
  5. De Jone, K., & Zawaydeh, B.A., (1999), Stress, Duration, and Intonation in Arabic Word-Level Prosody, Journal of Phonetics, 27(1), 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1006/jpho.1998.0088
  6. Fry, D.B., (1964), The correction of Errors in the Reception of Speech, Phonetica, (11) 164-174. https://doi.org/10.1159/000258337
  7. Gimson, (2014), Pronunciation of English, Graphieraft Limited, Hong Kong.
  8. Hismanoglu, M., (2012). Teaching Word Stress to Turkish EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Learners Through Internet-Based Video Lessons, US-China Education Review A1, 26-40.
  9. Indrayani, L.M., & Rizki, V., (2019), The Production of Word Stress Patterns in English Noun to Verb Conversion Words by Adult EFL Learners in Indonesia: A Phonological Study. International Journal of English, Literature and Social Sciences, 4(6) 1940-1945.
  10. James, C., (1998), Errors in Language Learning and Use: Exploring Error Analysis (1st ed.). Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315842912
  11. Reed, M., Levis J., (2019), The Handbook of English Pronunciation, Wiley Blackwell, USA.
  12. Quinn, CMD., (2010), Contrastive Analysis for Non-Arabic-Speaking Teachers: The basics that you need to know to help your students. Univ. of Nizwa Faculty Seminar, (14) 1-12.