JRL 1111H-S

Second Language Acquisition of Romance Phonology


Tuesday 1-3


Jeffrey Steele / Laura Colantoni


Northrop Frye Hall




This course provides an in-depth introduction to the acquisition of second language phonology by learners of Romance languages with particular attention paid to the acquisition of French and Spanish. Students will become familiar with the major research topics in the field including the nature of cross-linguistic influence; patterns of non-native speaker perception and parsing of auditory, visual and orthographic input; phonetic and phonological constraints on development; explanations for non-native attainment (i.e. foreign accent); and the effects of training and formal instruction on acquisition. The course will also introduce students to the major theories of non-native speech perception, production and phonological acquisition as well as the experimental paradigms most often used in laboratory and classroom research.


Colantoni, L., Steele, J., & Escudero, P. (2015). Second language speech: Theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other readings

Baker, W., & Smith, L. C. (2010). The impact of L2 dialect on learning French vowels : Native English speakers learning Québécois and European French. Canadian Modern Language Review, 66(5), 711-738.

Boula de Mareüil, P., & Vieru-Dimulescu, B. (2006). The contribution of prosody to the perception of foreign accent. Phonetica, 63, 247-267.

Colantoni, L., Mascaro, O., Steele, J., & Sunara. S. (2014). Learning to realize prosodic prominence in L2 French and Spanish. In R.T. Miller, K.I. Martin, C.M.  Eddington, A. Henery, N.M. Miguel, A. Tseng, A. Tuninetti, & D. Walter (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building bridges between contexts. Somervile, MA: Cascadilla Press. 15pp.

Colantoni, L., & Steele, J. (2008). Integrating articulatory constraints into models of L2 phonological acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29(1), 1-46.

Dupoux, E., Sebastián-Gallés, N., Navarette, E., & Peperkamp, S. (2008). Persistent stress ‘deafness’: The case of French learners of Spanish. Cognition, 106, 682-706.

Elvin, J., & Escudero, P. (2014). Perception of Brazilian Portuguese vowels by Australian English and Spanish Listeners. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech. Concordia Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, 5, 145-156.

Howard, M., Lemée, I., & Regan, V. (2006). The L2 acquisition of a phonological variable: The case of /l/ deletion in French. Journal of French Language Studies, 16, 1-24.

Levy, E. S., & Strange, W. (2008). Perception of French vowels by American English adults with and without French language experience. Journal of Phonetics, 36, 141-157.

Lord, G. (2010). The combined effects of immersion and instruction on second language pronunciation. Foreign Language Annals, 43(3), 488-503.

Required assignments:

Article presentation and evaluation (Oral: 20%; Written: 10%); Project (Proposal: 15%; In-class presentation: 25%; Term paper: 30%).