The Acquisition of Dialect-specific Phonology, Phonetics, and Sociolinguistics in L2 Spanish
Untangling Learner Trends
How regional variation shapes second language (L2) perception and manifests in the production of second language learners has received more and more attention from linguists recently. Within the emerging field of L2 sociophonetics, both perception and production studies are essential for understanding L2 phonological dialect acquisition, but neither alone can provide a full picture of a learner’s development. This paper surveys the learner trends observed in recent research on regional sound acquisition in L2 Spanish in both areas, tying findings to theoretical models in L2 speech perception and sociolinguistic acquisition, and considering what elements of acquisition the models fail to address. This review confirms the interdisciplinary nature of L2 regional sound learning, as social factors like identity and social networks predict dialect variant acquisition alongside L2 proficiency, exposure, and other linguistic and situational factors. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the developing field of L2 sociophonetics and dialectology, future research is needed that maps a variety of social, linguistic, and individual factors and their role in L2 regional acquisition.
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