Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

Isabelle Darcy

Photo of Isabelle Darcy

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

Research Interests

  • Second language phonology and processing
  • Acquisition of phonology
  • Native and non-native accents
  • Speech perception
  • Spoken word recognition
  • Pronunciation teaching
  • Second language listening


  • Ph.D. 2003. Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France and Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • M.A. 1998. German and Romance Linguistics and Literature

Personal Statement

Isabelle Darcy is Professor of Second Language Studies, where she teaches courses on second language (L2) phonological acquisition and processing, experimental methods in L2 laboratory phonology, and methods for teaching pronunciation. Her research focus is the acquisition of second language phonology, pronunciation instruction, speech perception and word recognition in a first and in a second language. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2003 from the EHESS in Paris (France) and from the Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany). Isabelle currently is the Lab Director for the Second Language Psycholinguistics Lab.

Selected Publications

  • Darcy, I., & *Thomas, T. (2019). When blue is a disyllabic word: Perceptual epenthesis in the mental lexicon of second language learners. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 22(5), 1141-1159. doi:10.1017/S1366728918001050
  • Darcy, I. & Holliday, J. J. (2019). Teaching an old work new tricks: Phonological updates in the L2 mental lexicon. In J. Levis, C. Nagle, & E. Todey (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, ISSN 2380-9566, Ames, IA, September 2018 (pp. 10-26). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
  • Darcy, I. (2018) Powerful and Effective Pronunciation Instruction: How Can We Achieve It? CATESOL Journal, 30, 13-45.
  • Darcy, I., Tremblay, A., & Simonet, M. (2017). Editorial: Phonology in the Bilingual and Bidialectal Lexicon. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(507). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00507
  • Darcy, I., Mora, J. C. and *Daidone, D. (2016), The Role of Inhibitory Control in Second Language Phonological Processing. Language Learning, 66, 741–773. doi:10.1111/lang.12161. Materials available on IRIS.
  • Darcy, I., Park, H., & *Yang, C.-L. (2015). Individual differences in L2 acquisition of English phonology: The relation between cognitive abilities and phonological processing. Learning and Individual Differences, 40, 63-72. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.04.005
  • *Schaefer, V., Darcy, I. (2014) Functional prominence of lexically-contrastive pitch in L1 shapes cross-linguistic perception of Thai tones. Laboratory Phonology, 5, 489 – 522
  • Darcy, I., *Daidone, D., & *Kojima, C. (2013). Asymmetric lexical access and fuzzy lexical representations in second language learners. The Mental Lexicon, 8, 372-420.
  • Darcy, I., & *Krüger, F. (2012). Vowel perception and production in Turkish children acquiring L2 German. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 568-581.
  • 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.
  • 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., Ewert, D., & *Lidster, R. (2012). Bringing pronunciation instruction back into the classroom: An ESL teachers’ pronunciation “toolbox”. In J. Levis & K. LeVelle (Eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Sept. 2011. (pp. 93-108). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
  • For a full list of publications please see: Second Language Psycholinguistics Lab

Courses Taught at Indiana University


  • Individual differences in second language acquisition (S500)
  • Foreign Accent / The Phenomenon of Foreign Accent (S500)
  • Spoken Word Recognition in a Second Language (S600)
  • Issues in Pronunciation Teaching: A pronunciation Cookbook (T500)
  • Pronunciation Talent and Individual Differences in SLA (S500)
  • Experimental Methods in Laboratory Phonology (S612)
  • Second Language Phonology (S512)
  • Second Language Processing (S605)
  • Learnability (S600)
  • Second Language Perception and Foreign Accent (S500)
  • English Phonology for Language Learning and Teaching (S514)


  • New Sounds: Foreign accents and pronunciation in a second language (SLST-S312)
  • Voices of America, voices of the world (SLST-S150)

Graduate, Department of Linguistics

  • Introductory Phonetics (L541)

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.