Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Isabelle Darcy

Photo of Isabelle Darcy

Associate Professor of Second Language Studies
(812) 855-0033
Ballantine Hall 718

Research Interests

  • Second language phonology and processing
  • Acquisition of phonology
  • Accent
  • Speech perception
  • Word recognition


  • Ph.D. 2003. Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France and Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • M.A. German and Romance Linguistics and Literature

Personal Statement

I obtained a PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (France) and from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany) in 2003.

Studying the psycholinguistics of language processing and learning can reveal how humans acquire a second language and establish long-term memory representations of this new knowledge. Within the Department of Second Language Studies, my research program focuses on the psycholinguistic investigation of phonological systems in second language learners. The research we conduct in my lab, the Second Language Psycholinguistics Lab, covers all domains of phonology and how they are acquired and represented in the bilingual's mind. At the moment, we are particularly interested in understanding how phonological knowledge interacts with word recognition and word encoding in the mental lexicon of second language learners; another area of interest is the impact of individual differences in executive functions on phonological processing and acquisition.


  • Darcy, I., Park, H., & Yang, C.-L. (under review). Individual differences in L2 acquisition of English phonology: the relation between cognitive abilities and phonological processing.
  • Darcy, I., Daidone, D., & Kojima, C. (under review). Asymmetric lexical access and fuzzy lexical representations in second language learners.
  • Darcy, I. & Schaefer, V. (under review) Functional prominence of lexically-contrastive pitch in L1 shapes cross-linguistic perception of Thai tones.
  • Gordon, J. & Darcy, I. (under review). Pronunciation instruction and comprehensibility: Effects of explicit pronunciation instruction on segmentals and suprasegmentals.
  • Darcy, I. & Feldhausen, I. (in press). Französisch. In M. Krifka, J. Blaszczak, A. Leßmöllmann, A. Meinunger, B. Stiebels, R. Tracy and H. Truckenbrodt (Eds.), Das mehrsprachige Klassenzimmer Springer Verlag. [French. In: The multilingual classroom].
  • Darcy, I. & Krüger, F. (2012). Vowel perception and production in Turkish children acquiring L2 German, Journal of Phonetics, 40, 568-581.
  • Darcy, I., Ewert, D. & Lidster, R. (2012). Bringing pronunciation instruction back into the classroom: An ESL Teachers' pronunciation "toolbox". In J. Levis & K. Lavelle (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Sept. 2011. (pp. 93-108). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
  • Darcy, I. & Feldhausen, I. (in press). Französisch. In M. Krifka, J., Blaszak, A. Leßmöllmann, A. Meinunger, B. Stiebels, R. Tracy and H. Truckenbrodt (Eds.), Das mehrsprachige Klassenzimmer. Springer Verlag. [French. In: The multilingual classroom].
  • Darcy, I. Dekydtspotter, L., Sprouse, R. A., Glover, J., Kaden, C., McGuire, M., & Scott, J. H. G. (2012). Direct mapping of acoustics to phonology: On the lexical encoding of front rounded vowels in L1 English-L2 French acquisition. Second Language Research, 28, 1-36.
  • Truckenbrodt, H., & Darcy, I. (2010). Object clauses, movement, and phrasal stress. In N. Erteschik-Shir & L. Rochman (Eds.), The Sound Patterns of Syntax (pp. 189-216). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Teichmann, M., Darcy, I., Bachoud-Lévi, A.-C., & Dupoux, E. (2009). The role of the striatum in phonological processing. Evidence from early stages of Huntington's disease. Cortex, 45(7), 839-849.
  • Darcy, I., Ramus, F., Christophe, A., Kinzler, K., & Dupoux, E. (2009). Phonological knowledge in compensation for native and non-native assimilation. In F. Kügler, C. Féry & R. van de Vijver (Eds.), Variation and Gradience in Phonetics and Phonology (pp. 265-309). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bartels, S., Darcy, I., & Höhle, B. (2009). Schwa Syllables Facilitate Word Segmentation for 9-month-old German-learning Infants. In J. Chandlee et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (Vol. 1, pp. 73-84). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
  • Darcy, I. (2008). Representation of Phonological Alternations in a First and a Second Language: A Preliminary Report. In Selected Proceedings of the 2007 Second Language Research Forum, ed. Melissa Bowles, Rebecca Foote, Silvia Perpiñán, and Rakesh Bhatt, 171-186, Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project., document #1743.
  • Darcy, I., Peperkamp, S. & Dupoux, E. (2007). Bilinguals play by the rules. Perceptual compensation for assimilation in late L2-learners. In Cole, Jennifer and José I. Hualde (eds.). Laboratory Phonology 9 (pp. 411-442). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Darcy, I., & Kügler, F. (2007). Phonological context effects for voicing and devoicing in French. In Trouvain, Jürgen and William J. Barry (eds.). Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 1257-1260). Saarbrücken.

Courses Taught

  • S 500 Foreign Accent
  • S 600 Spoken Word Recognition in a Second Language
  • T 500 Issues in Pronunciation Teaching: A pronunciation Cookbook
  • L 541 Introductory Phonetics (for the Department of Linguistics)
  • T 500 Second Language Speech Perception and Foreign Accent
  • T 514 English Phonology for Teaching Pronunciation
  • S 605 Second Language Speech Processing (with Professor Laurent Dekydtspotter)
  • S 600 Learnability (with Laurent Dekydtspotter)
  • S 512 Second Language Phonology
  • S 600 Individual differences in second language acquisition
  • S 600 Experimental Methods in Laboratory Phonology

The learning of second and foreign languages is a rich and fascinating process involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, and social dimensions. The Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies is dedicated to teaching and research on the structure, acquisition, and use of nonnative language in both instructed and contact contexts.