The Development of a Regional Phonological Feature During a Semester Abroad in Argentina

Rebecca Pozzi, Robert Bayley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although recent research suggests that gains are made in the acquisition of dialectal features during study abroad, the few studies that have been conducted on this topic in Spanish-speaking contexts have focused primarily on features characteristic of Spain. This article examines the L2 acquisition of phonological features characteristic of Buenos Aires Spanish, [ʃ] and [ʒ], known as sheísmo/zheísmo, for example the pronunciation of llave [ʝaβe] “key” as [ʃaβe] or [ʒaβe]. Participants include 23 learners of Spanish studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina. More than 4,800 tokens were gathered before, during, and at the end of the semester using sociolinguistic interviews, a reading passage, and a word list. These data were analyzed for the influence of linguistic and social factors using mixed-effects logistic regression (Rbrul; Johnson, 2009). Results suggest that participants approximate nativelike norms of use of these features and that time in country is a statistically significant predictor of patterns of phonological variation.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
StatePublished - 2020


  • Psychology
  • Science and Mathematics Education

Cite this