Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures



Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 152 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Lotfi Sayahi

Committee Members

Maurice Westmoreland, Isabelle Lemée, John Thomas


Dialect variation, Second Language Acquisition, Sociolinguistics, Spanish, Second language acquisition, Spanish language, Foreign study

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Modern Languages


The current investigation seeks to contribute to the emerging body of research on second language variation in Spanish. A range of dialect-specific variables is considered, both morphological and phonological. Learner acquisition of these variables is measured within a study abroad context through oral and written longitudinal data over the course of an 8-month period. Previous studies conducted in this area have considered pronoun use (Geeslin and Gudmestad 2008a; Salgado-Robles 2012) the use of /theta/ (Geeslin and Gudmestad 2008b; Willis et. al. 2009; Ringer-Hilfinger 2012; Knouse 2012), intonation strategies (Henriksen et al. 2010), and perfective past time reference (Geeslin et al. 2012). From this small body of research we have learned that while study abroad learners produce a similar range of forms, they do so at frequencies that are different from those of native speakers. The current study examines learner use of the voiceless interdental fricative /theta/ and present perfect to express the past tense, in addition to four previously unstudied features: strident post velar fricative [X], second person plural pronoun vosotros, use of morphological future to express doubt. Participants are undergraduate students from 10 universities throughout the US who attend a 4-month study abroad program at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Spain. Data are elicited through a set of oral and written tasks at three interview times, including a post-study abroad interview.