Research Topic

L2 Phonology Meets L2 Pronunciation

About this Research Topic

In this collection, we seek to unify two related fields of inquiry which investigate similar phenomena but which tend to be isolated from one another. The fields are second language (L2) phonology and L2 pronunciation. L2 phonology investigates issues surrounding the representation, processing and acquisition of a sound system in a second (or third) language. L2 pronunciation investigates the factors which influence L2 speech production and perception, including in classroom environments. In some ways, the collection we are going to assemble draws on a terminological distinction made elsewhere in the literature, that of second language acquisition and instructed second language acquisition. Our Frontiers Research Topic will focus on exploring the distinctions, overlaps and similarities of SLA and ISLA in the domain of L2 speech.

The research problem we aim to tackle is "what is easy/hard to learn, and what is easy/hard to teach in L2 speech." In so doing, we seek to understand why certain phenomena are more difficult to learn and teach. We propose organizing the collection around the following domains:
Segments (Consonants,Vowels); Syllables (Length, Phonotactics); Stress (Lexical, Sentential); Tones; Intonation.

Through an open call for 500-word abstracts which report on completed research projects, we aim for at least two individuals to take on each domain from the perspective of (a) what’s easy and hard to learn and why (author 1, L2 phonology), and (b) what’s easy and hard to teach and why (author 2, L2 pronunciation). They will be encouraged to consider functional load as a guiding principle (i.e. learning in frequentist models, and teaching students to speak more comprehensibly).

Once the papers have come in, we plan to invite influential scholars to write a short response that brings the findings of the two papers together.


Keywords: L2 pronunciation, L2 phonology, functional load, L2 speech, bilingualism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In this collection, we seek to unify two related fields of inquiry which investigate similar phenomena but which tend to be isolated from one another. The fields are second language (L2) phonology and L2 pronunciation. L2 phonology investigates issues surrounding the representation, processing and acquisition of a sound system in a second (or third) language. L2 pronunciation investigates the factors which influence L2 speech production and perception, including in classroom environments. In some ways, the collection we are going to assemble draws on a terminological distinction made elsewhere in the literature, that of second language acquisition and instructed second language acquisition. Our Frontiers Research Topic will focus on exploring the distinctions, overlaps and similarities of SLA and ISLA in the domain of L2 speech.

The research problem we aim to tackle is "what is easy/hard to learn, and what is easy/hard to teach in L2 speech." In so doing, we seek to understand why certain phenomena are more difficult to learn and teach. We propose organizing the collection around the following domains:
Segments (Consonants,Vowels); Syllables (Length, Phonotactics); Stress (Lexical, Sentential); Tones; Intonation.

Through an open call for 500-word abstracts which report on completed research projects, we aim for at least two individuals to take on each domain from the perspective of (a) what’s easy and hard to learn and why (author 1, L2 phonology), and (b) what’s easy and hard to teach and why (author 2, L2 pronunciation). They will be encouraged to consider functional load as a guiding principle (i.e. learning in frequentist models, and teaching students to speak more comprehensibly).

Once the papers have come in, we plan to invite influential scholars to write a short response that brings the findings of the two papers together.


Keywords: L2 pronunciation, L2 phonology, functional load, L2 speech, bilingualism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 July 2020 Abstract
08 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 July 2020 Abstract
08 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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