Ji Young Kim joined the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA in 2016 after completing her Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in heritage language phonology. Her research focuses on how Spanish heritage speakers in the US — descendants of Hispanic immigrants, who are early bilingual speakers of Spanish (an ethnic minority language) and English (the majority language of the society) — perceive and produce the speech sounds in Spanish, when language shift to English is prominent across the generations. She is currently investigating the phonetic features of “heritage accent” in heritage speakers’ speech, which is often perceived by monolingual native speakers, but the source of which is very difficult to identify. Moreover, as there is a large variation among Spanish heritage speakers with regard to their identity as Latinos/as in the US and their attitudes toward learning Spanish, her goal is to explore more deeply into the role of various extra-linguistic factors in the development of heritage speakers’ phonological system.


Ph.D. (2016). Spanish Linguistics and SLATE (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Heritage language acquisition
  • Spanish in the US
  • Spanish phonetics and phonology
  • Perception and production of L1/L2 speech sounds


  • Repiso-Puigdelliura, G., Benvenuti, I., & Kim, J.-Y. (2021). Heritage speakers’ production of the Spanish voiced palatal obstruent /J/: A closer look at orthography and universal phonetic principles. Heritage Language Journal, 18, 1–30. doi: 10.1163/15507076-12340005
  • Kim, J.-Y., & Repiso-Puigdelliura, G. (2021). Keeping a critical eye on majority language influence: The case of uptalk in heritage Spanish. Languages, 6(1), 13. doi:10.3390/languages6010013
  • Repiso-Puigdelliura, G., & Kim, J.-Y. (2021). The missing link in Spanish heritage trill production. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 24(3), 454-466. doi:10.1017/S1366728920000668
  • Kim, J.-Y., & Wong, N. (2020). (Divergent) Participation in the California Vowel Shift by Korean Americans in Southern California. Languages, 5(4), 53. doi:10.3390/languages5040053
  • Yan, X., Kim, H.-R., & Kim, J.-Y. (2020). Dimensionality of speech fluency: Examining the relationships among complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) features of speaking performances on the Aptis test. Language Testing. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0265532220951508
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2020). Discrepancy between heritage speakers’ use of suprasegmental cues in the perception and production of Spanish lexical stress. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23, 233-250. doi:10.1017/S1366728918001220
  • Kim, J.-Y., & Repiso-Puigdelliura, G. (2020). Deconstructing heritage language dominance: Effects of proficiency, use, and input on heritage speakers’ production of the Spanish alveolar tap. Phonetica, 77, 55-80. doi:10.1159/000501188
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2019) Heritage speakers’ use of prosodic strategies in focus marking in Spanish. International Journal of Bilingualism, 23(5), 986-1004. doi:10.1177/1367006918763139
  • Boomershine, A., & Kim, J.-Y. (2018). Speech perception, In K. L. Geeslin (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Hispanic Linguistics (pp. 237-258). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316779194
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2017). Voice quality transfer in the production of Spanish heritage speakers and English L2 learners of Spanish, In S. Perpiñán, D. Heap, I. Moreno-Villamar, & A. Soto-Corominas (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 44th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (pp. 191-207). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/rllt.11.09kim
  • Kim, J.-Y., & Shih, C. (2015). Mapping second language learners’ accent of Spanish, In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow, UK: the University of Glasgow. https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/Papers/ICPHS0677.pdf
  • Hualde, J. I., & Kim, J.-Y. (2015). The acquisition of Spanish lexical stress by Korean learners, In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow, UK: the University of Glasgow. https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/Papers/ICPHS0133.pdf
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2015). Perception and production of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers and English L2 learners of Spanish, In E. Willis, P. Martín Butragueño, & E. Herrera Zendejas. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology (pp. 106-128). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. http://www.lingref.com/cpp/larp/6/paper3196.pdf
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2014). Use of suprasegmental information in the perception of Spanish lexical stress by Spanish heritage speakers of different generations, In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 7 (pp. 453-456). https://www.isca-speech.org/archive/SpeechProsody_2014/pdfs/82.pdf
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2011). L1-L2 phonetic interference in the production of Spanish heritage speakers in the US. The Korean Journal of Hispanic Studies, 4, 1-28. https://ihs.korea.ac.kr/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20170428_003912.pdf
  • Kim, J.-Y. (2010). Phonological effect of single-word insertion by Korean heritage speakers: vowel epenthesis in word-final position. Korean Journal of Linguistics, 35(1), 49-70. doi:10.18855/lisoko.2010.35.1.003


Graduate courses

  • SPAN202A Phonology
  • SPAN209 Spanish Dialectology
  • SPAN256A Heritage Language Phonology
  • SPAN256A Bilingual Speech Perception
  • SPAN256A Bilingual Speech Production
  • SPAN256A Bilingual Language Assessment I
  • SPAN256B Bilingual Language Assessment II
  • SPAN256B The Sound System of Los Angeles Spanish

Undergraduate courses

  • SPAN100A Introduction to Study of Spanish Grammar: Phonology and Morphology
  • SPAN100B Introduction to Study of Spanish Grammar: Syntax
  • SPAN160 Varieties of Spoken Spanish
  • SPAN160 Sounds of Spanish, English, and Spanglish in Los Angeles