Campus Units

World Languages and Cultures

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Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching 2019

Publication Version

Published Version

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Conference Title

Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching 2019

Conference Date

September 12-14, 2019


Flagstaff, AZ


Longitudinal research on second language (L2) sound learning demonstrates that speakers’ production of challenging L2 sounds can improve in the absence of targeted instruction. Although the growing body of longitudinal work on this topic provides insight into the rate and shape of development, the factors that shape L2 phonetic production in spontaneous speech are not yet well understood. The data described here are part of a longitudinal data set collected from native English speakers enrolled in introductory-level Spanish language courses. For the current analysis, 16 participants were selected based on the availability of data coinciding with the beginning and end of the first semester and end of the second semester. Participants completed a simplified picture description task. Voice Onset Time (VOT) was annotated and measured for all instances of Spanish /p, t, k/ in the speech samples. Participants’ instructors were recorded during two class periods. Recordings were transcribed and a frequency measure was calculated based on the resulting teacher speech data. After controlling for a range of linguistic factors known to affect VOT, modeling demonstrated that time and frequency were not significantly related to VOT.


This presentation is published as Nagle, C. & Bruun, S. Examining predictors of phonetic variation in semi-spontaneous L2 Spanish Speech. In the Proceedings of the 11th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference; September 2019;163–172. Posted with permission.

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Iowa State Univeristy



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