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Murray Munro and Tracey Derwing’s 1995 paper, “Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners,” published in the journal Language Learning, instigated tremendous changes in the research focus of second language pronunciation. Derwing and Munro provided evidence for three distinct, yet partially-related constructs: intelligibility (the degree to which a listener understands a speaker’s intended message), comprehensibility (the degree of effort required for a listener to understand L2 speech) and accentedness (the degree of difference from an expected accent). Subsequent approaches to the research and teaching of L2 pronunciation have demonstrated the robustness of these constructs.

The constructs have been used to demonstrate the validity of functional load for prioritizing pronunciation segments (Munro & Derwing, 2006), validate the importance of listener judgments as measures of pronunciation improvement (Derwing, Munro & Wiebe, 1998), distinguish between accentedness and intelligibility goals for language teaching (Levis, 2005), deconstruct the language features that are involved in comprehensibility judgments (Isaacs & Trofimovich, 2012), examine the effects of methodological choices on speech rating (O’Brien, 2016), and relate judgments of comprehensibility to grammatical form (Ruivivar & Collins, 2019).

The constructs have also been used in examining the role of pronunciation in language assessment (Isaacs & Harding, 2017), in showing the effects of instructional approaches (Foote & McDonough, 2017; Gordon & Darcy, 2016), in measuring pronunciation development in workplace and classroom contexts (Derwing, Munro, Foote, Waugh & Fleming, 2013; Nagle, 2017), and in showing connections between L2 pronunciation and social attitudes (Reid, Trofimovich & O’Brien, 2018). In addition, the constructs have been successfully applied in the study of naturalistic L2 acquisition over several years (Derwing & Munro, 2013). These studies and many more demonstrate the continuing influence and flexibility of the original insights.

The Journal of Second Language Pronunciation invites proposals for papers related to cutting- edge research on intelligibility, comprehensibility and accentedness to be published in a special issue of the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. Papers can be about any L2 learning context and any L1/L2 combination. All proposed papers should be directly connected to the concepts as described in Munro and Derwing’s work.

Invited papers should fit the general guidelines of the journal, found at The Journal publishes papers in four main areas:

  • experimental, instructed, and naturalistic research about second language pronunciation;
  • review articles that synthesize research perspectives of key pronunciation issues from different disciplines;
  • teaching-oriented papers detailing successful practices and research-based instruction;
  • reviews of technology and books focused on second language pronunciation.


Submission procedures

Abstracts considered for the special issue should be submitted to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. by August 15, 2019 by 11:59 pm Central Standard Time in the United States. All abstracts should be double-spaced, up to 500 words (including up to 5 supporting references), and should include the authors’ names, contact information and affiliations on a separate page.

Timeline for the Special Issue

Abstract due for consideration: August 15, 2019 (submit to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.)
Notification of invitation: September 15, 2019
Full paper due: February 15, 2020 (submit to the JSLP online portal)
Reviews provided: April 15, 2020
Revised paper due: June 1, 2020
Feedback on revisions (as needed): July 1, 2020
Final paper due: August 15, 2020
Paper published in JSLP: October 2020

All accepted authors will receive a print copy of the JSLP special issue. Questions about submission requirements should be directed to the editor at Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo..