Bilingual Lexical Representations Workshop


Bilingual Lexical Representations Workshop

May 3-4, 2022
IMERA, Marseille, France



Proposed by Isabelle Darcy, ILCB-IMERA fellow 2021-2022, Indiana University (USA) within the Interdisciplinary Explorations program.

This workshop brings together leading figures in the research area of phonological representations in the L2 mental lexicon. A series of talks open to the public will give an overview of the most recent research advances on the topic. The language of the event will be English.


Invited Speakers


  • Mirjam Ernestus, Radboud University, The Netherlands 
  • Joan C. Mora, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Mirén Adrian, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Miquel Llompart, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg, Germany
  • Rachel Hayes-Harb, University of Utah, USA
  • Svetlana Cook, National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland USA

Listening to speech in your native language (L1) is relatively easy. Recognizing the words used in a conversation is generally an automatic and smooth everyday process. Even in noisy or otherwise less than ideal conditions, our performance is surprisingly robust. But anyone who has attempted to follow a conversation in a second language (L2) knows how demanding this can be, even if you know all the words.

The semantic representations of L2 words have been investigated extensively. Our phonetic representations of those words, however, are much less widely understood. Independently of how well you know the meaning of words, identifying individual words out of the acoustic speech stream is difficult for the L2 listener. Not only the perceptual processing of L2 speech sounds, but also their stored phonetic representations, are influenced by the L1, making listening much more complex in the L2 than in the L1. The relatively new and rapidly evolving research area of bilingual lexical representations investigates how L2 learners represent the phonetic forms of words in their mental lexicon, and how these representations change over time.

This workshop aims to provide an overview of the most recent developments in the field. Now is an exciting time to outline the essential questions that need to be explored, and to work collectively towards a long-term research agenda. A number of methodological challenges are also best addressed together and across disciplines, in order for the field to move forward on a solid basis.

More information on this topic can be found here :


Preliminary program


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

8:45                Opening, welcome remarks, coffee

9:00 – 12:30 State of the Art I: 3 talks


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

8:45                Coffee

9:00 – 12:30 State of the Art II: 3 talks


Two working sessions (by invitation only) will take place in the afternoons.


(Program at the bottom of the page)

Attendance and Registration


This is a hybrid event with in-person sessions, accompanied by a zoom option.

All talks will take place in the Maison des Astronomes, 2, Place Leverrier, 13004 Marseille

Metro: Cinq Avenues | Tram: 2, Longchamp | Bus : 49, Place Leverrier

Zoom link:

ID de réunion : 852 5947 5993
Code secret : 332721


Isabelle Darcy, is a psycholinguist working on second language acquisition. Her research focuses on second language phonology, with a particular emphasis on perception and lexical representations. In Indiana University’s Second Language Psycholinguistics Lab, which she founded in 2008, Isabelle conducts with her students research that aims to better understand the representations that learners create for the words and phonological units of a second language (L2), and how these representations change over time. They also examine the mechanisms of phonological processing in an L2, and the factors that facilitate it (for instance, suppression of interference from the first language). Finally, they address the application of these findings in pedagogical contexts, with the goal of helping learners modify their representations and streamline the processing of their new language, thus helping them communicate more easily in the second language.

Isabelle is currently professor of second language studies at Indiana University (USA), and a Fellow at IMERA, the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University. More on her page.


The Interdisciplinary Explorations program: Among the disciplines that have long developed as a result of interdisciplinarity, cognitive science is an exemplary case because of its liveliness and fruitfulness. Bringing together researchers in neuroscience, psychology, linguistic and computer science, cognitive science aims to answer fundamental questions concerning the normal and pathological development and functioning of language and the brain in relation to all forms of knowledge.  However, two poles can be distinguished in the organization of this field of research, depending on whether psychophysiological analysis or whether the analysis of language and communicative interaction occupies a predominant place.

The Bilingual Lexical Representations Workshop belongs to a field of research which allies together these two perspectives while opening to applications whose social stake is relevant, such as pedagogical advances in the teaching of second languages, or social discriminations to which bilingualism exposes the migrant populations. More on the program page.