Isabelle Darcy

Isabelle Darcy
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias
pas FIAS

dates de séjour

01/09/2021 - 30/06/2022


Sciences du langage et linguistique

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Purdue University

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Learning to Forget? How Bilinguals Fine-Tune Their Mental Lexicon

The project is conducted in collaboration with Institute of Language, Communication and the Brain focuses on the bilingual/multilingual mental lexicon. One challenge that bilinguals encounter when learning new words is to suppress the interference generated from their L1. L1 interference has been shown to affect nearly all aspects of L2 acquisition, from pronunciation (phonology) to grammar (syntax), and is also expressed in written forms (orthography). This proposal focuses on the interference from the L1 phonological system and the subsequent reduction of this interference on the phonolexical representations that bilinguals establish for L2 words. It seeks neurolinguistic (event-related potential - ERP) evidence via the N400 pseudoword effect to assess the precision and the evolution of bilinguals’ phonolexical representations over time.


Isabelle Darcy is Professor of second language psycholinguistics in the Department of Second Language Studies at Indiana University (USA). She obtained her Ph.D. 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, for which she has been awarded an Outstanding Dissertation Award from the University of Mainz. She has worked as a postdoctoral research and teaching associate at the Universities of Potsdam and of Tübingen (Germany).


Her research focus is speech perception, word recognition and the acquisition of phonology in a first and in a second language, as well as pronunciation instruction. At the moment, she is particularly interested in understanding how phonological knowledge interacts with word recognition and word encoding in a second language, and in the factors underlying individual differences in L2 acquisition of phonology.