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 both monolingual and bilingual native speakers, but the source of which is difficult to identify. Moreover, as there is a large variation among Spanish heritage speakers with regard to their identity as Latine/x/a/o 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


Carr, J., & Kim, J.-Y. (2024). A framework for measuring language representation in the linguistic landscape: The case of Los Angeles Koreatown. In C. Lamar Prieto, & A. González Alba (Eds.), Digital Flux, Linguistic Justice and Minoritized Languages (pp. 173–194). De Gruyter. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110799392-010

Kim, J.-K., Kim, J.-Y., Carter, J., & Choi, J. (2023). Demystifying heritage accent: Heritage accent perceived by heritage speakers. In R. Skarnitzl, & J. Volín (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Prague 2023. (pp. 2845–2849). Guarant International. https://guarant.cz/icphs2023/481.pdf

Kim, J.-Y. (2023). Spanish–English cross-linguistic influence on heritage bilinguals’ production of uptalk. Languages, 8, 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010022

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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728920000668

Yan, X., Kim, H.-R., & Kim, J.-Y. (2021). Dimensionality of speech fluency: Examining the relationships among complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) features of speaking performances on the Aptis test. Language Testing, 28(4), 485-510. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532220951508

Kim, J.-Y., & Wong, N. (2020). (Divergent) Participation in the California Vowel Shift by Korean Americans in Southern California. Languages, 5(4), 53. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040053

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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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 Phonological Development of Spanish as a Heritage Language
  • 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