Limitations of the influence of English phonetics and phonology on L2 Spanish rhotics


  • Michael Kevin Olsen University of Wisconsin Stevens Point



L2 pronunciation, L2 Spanish rhotics, L1 influence, Spanish second language acquisition, Spanish phonological acquisition


This study investigates L2 Spanish rhotic production in intermediate learners of Spanish, specifically addressing the duration of the influence of L1 English rhotic articulations and a phonetic environment involving English taps on the acquisition of Spanish taps and trills that Olsen (2012) found. Results from multiple linear regressions involving thirty-five students in Spanish foreign language classes show that the effect of English rhotic articulations evident in beginners has disappeared after four semesters of Spanish study. However, results from paired samples t-tests show that these more advanced learners produced accurate taps significantly more in words containing phonetic environments that produce taps in English. This effect is taken as evidence that L1 phonetic influences have a shorter duration on L2 production than do L1 phonological influences. These results provide insights into L2 rhotic acquisition which Spanish educators and students can use to formulate reasonable pronunciation expectations. 




How to Cite

Olsen, M. K. (2016). Limitations of the influence of English phonetics and phonology on L2 Spanish rhotics. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 5(2), 313–331.