Grounded on the theoretical constructs of cross-language speech learning, this research investigates English L1 speakers’ production of Arabic pharyngeal and pharyngealized consonants (/ħ, ʕ/ and /tˤ, sˤ, dˤ, ðˤ/, respectively). Central to this study is how English speakers’ proficiency in Arabic affects their ability to produce these sounds differently. In particular, it examines the effect of Arabic proficiency on the production of pharyngealized versus non-pharyngealized consonants; pharyngeals versus non-pharyngeals; pharyngeal versus pharyngealized sounds; intra-category differences
among the target consonants; and pharyngeal and pharyngealized consonants which differ in the adjacent vowel. The study adopts the posttest-only control group design in which Arabic learners and non-learners constitute the research groups. This thesis exploits Best’s (1995) perceptual assimilation model (PAM); Flege’s (1995) speech learning model (SLM) and principles of gestural phonology in interpreting the split-plot ANOVA results. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed based on the study results.