Isabelle Darcy

Isabelle Darcy

Member, Cognitive Science Program

Adjunct Faculty, Linguistics

Professor, Second Language Studies


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

Research interests

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 new language system 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 how multilingual people acquire the phonological systems of their various languages. 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 bilinguals; another area of interest is the impact of individual differences in executive functions on phonological processing and acquisition.

Representative publications

Direct mapping of acoustics to phonology: On the lexical encoding of front rounded vowels in L1 English–L2 French acquisition (2012)
Isabelle Darcy, Laurent Dekydtspotter, Rex A Sprouse, Justin Glover, Christiane Kaden, Michael McGuire ...
Second Language Research, 28 (1), May-40

Phonological knowledge in compensation for native and non-native assimilation (2009)
Isabelle Darcy, Franck Ramus, Anne Christophe, Katherine Kinzler and Emmanuel Dupoux
Walter de Gruyter. 14 265-309

Bilinguals play by the rules. Perceptual compensation for assimilation in late L2-learners (2007)
I Darcy, S Peperkamp and E Dupoux
Mouton de Gruyter. 9 411-442

Bringing pronunciation instruction back into the classroom: An ESL teachers’ pronunciation “toolbox” (2011)
Isabelle Darcy, Doreen Ewert and Ryan Lidster

Vowel perception and production in Turkish children acquiring L2 German (2012)
Isabelle Darcy and Franziska Krüger
Journal of Phonetics, 40 (4), 568-581

Pronunciation teaching and learning: Effects of explicit phonetic instruction in the L2 classroom (2013)
Joshua Gordon, Isabelle Darcy and Doreen Ewert

Asymmetric lexical access and fuzzy lexical representations in second language learners (2013)
Isabelle Darcy, Danielle Daidone and Chisato Kojima
The Mental Lexicon, 8 (3), 372-420

Individual differences in L2 acquisition of English phonology: The relation between cognitive abilities and phonological processing (2015)
Isabelle Darcy, Hanyong Park and Chung-Lin Yang
Learning and Individual Differences, 40 63-72

Assimilation phonologique et reconnaissance des mots (2003)
Isabelle Darcy

The development of comprehensible speech in L2 learners: A classroom study on the effects of short-term pronunciation instruction (2016)
Joshua Gordon and Isabelle Darcy
Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 2 (1), 56-92

The role of the striatum in phonological processing. Evidence from early stages of Huntington's disease (2009)
Marc Teichmann, Isabelle Darcy, Anne-Catherine Bachoud-Lévi and Emmanuel Dupoux
cortex, 45 (7), 839-849

Exploring dyslexics’ phonological deficit II: Phonological grammar (2016)
Gayaneh Szenkovits, Quynliaan Darma, Isabelle Darcy and Franck Ramus
First Language, 36 (3), 316-337

The Role of Inhibitory Control in Second Language Phonological Processing (2016)
Isabelle Darcy, Joan C Mora and Danielle Daidone
Language Learning, 66 (2), 1–33

Object clauses, movement, and phrasal stress (2010)
Hubert Truckenbrodt and Isabelle Darcy
Oxford University Press. 189-216

Lexical function of pitch in the first language shapes cross-linguistic perception of Thai tones (2014)
Vance Schaefer and Isabelle Darcy
Laboratory Phonology, 5 (4), 489-522