Hussein Abushaaban, Rashad Faleh Alhasan, Hani Qasem Asaad, Khatra Amar


This paper investigates the distinctions of verbs of stealing among Arabic-English translators. First, the four verbs selected for this study were ‘shoplift’, ‘rob’, ‘burglarize’, and ‘heist’. Second, visual stimuli for four verbs of stealing were developed along with their dimensions of distinctions. Six participants were presented with these visual stimuli and were asked to describe them in Arabic and English, along with their respective definitions. Semantic analysis of the English naming pattern revealed that the participants had not demonstrated any knowledge with regard to the English-based dimensions of meaning for the four respective verbs, showing no consistent distinctions among them. Rather, these participants used general English verbs to describe more specific actions, a pattern that was emulated in their Arabic naming pattern, which might suggest conceptual transfer. The only verb that generated the best answers in English was the verb ‘rob’ and that might be due to the exact lexicalization pattern in both English and Arabic in the sense both use single-verb format to express the same idea. This result suggested the positive effects of the one-to-one lexicalization pattern of the L1 on the acquisition of L2 verbs whereas the more-to-one lexicalization patterns had negative effects.


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cross-linguistic influence, lexicalization patterns, translation equivalents, linguistic relativity, conceptual transfer

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