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L2 Phonology

Second Language Phonology

The field of second language (L2) phonology is focused on how learners acquire new phonological systems (speech sounds and sound patterns). Researchers in the Speech Acquisition Lab in the University of Utah’s Department of Linguistics, which is co-directed by Professors Rachel Hayes-Harb and Shannon Barrios, use experimental methods to examine how adult learners acquire the sounds system of an L2.  We study learner’s use of information available in their input (the distribution of speech sounds, written input, etc.), as well as the way that native language experience shapes learning. Our hypotheses are informed both by phonological theory and by observations from language teachers and learners.  In this way, we contribute to the ‘basic’ and ‘applied’ scientific study of second language phonological acquisition.

The University of Utah is also home to speech researchers in other departments, including Communication Sciences and Disorders (Sarah Hargus-Ferguson, Bruce Smith) and World Languages & Cultures (Tanya Flores, Jane Hacking).

Last Updated: 5/31/22