Rebecca Ellen Ronquest

Associate Professor

Picture of Rebecca Ellen Ronquest


Dr. Rebecca Ronquest is an Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics who joined the faculty in 2013.  She earned her Doctorate and two Master's degrees (Hispanic Linguistics, General Linguistics) at Indiana University, Bloomington, and completed her undergraduate degree in Spanish at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. During her time at Indiana University, she also gained experience conducting speech perception research in the Speech Research Laboratory (Dr. David B. Pisoni, director) and was the recipient of the Latino Studies Program Dissertation-year Fellowship. Her main research interests include acoustic phonetics, sociophonetics, bilingual (heritage) sound systems, and Spanish language and dialect contact in the United States. In her free time she enjoys running, learning/studying languages, playing music, and reading.

Teaching and Research Interests

Research: Acoustic phonetics, sociophonetics, heritage Spanish phonetics and phonology, dialect and language contact.

Teaching: Introduction to Spanish Phonetics (undergraduate and graduate), Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (graduate), Spanish in the United States, Spanish Language Contact and Bilingualism (Senior Seminar).


Language and dialect contact in Central North Carolina (with Dr. Jim Michnowicz)

The phonetic/phonological systems of heritage speakers of Spanish

Realization of liquid consonants in Dominican Spanish


Funded Research

“The emergence and analysis of large bilingual speech communities" (CHASS FRDP). Co-PI with Jim Michnowicz and Robin Dodsworth. July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016.

“A pilot study of Spanish in Raleigh-Durham.” (CHASS FRDP). Co-PI with Jim Michnowicz. July 1 2012 - June 30, 2013.


Recent publications and manuscripts in press and under review:

Chetty, S., Ronquest, R., & Michnowicz, J. (under review). To /b/ or not to /b/: The acoustic realizations of the graphemes "b" and "v" among Spanish-English bilinguals.

Ronquest, R., Michnowicz, J., Wilbanks, E., & Cortés, C. (in press). Examining the (mini-) variable swarm in the Spanish of the Southeast. In A. Morales-Front, M. Ferreira, R. Leow & C. Sanz (Eds.), Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics (pp. xx-xx). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Boomershine, A., & Ronquest, R. (2019). Teaching pronunciation to Spanish Heritage Speakers. In R. Rao (Ed.), Key Issues in the Teaching of Spanish Pronunciation: From Description to Pedagogy (pp. 288-303). London/New York: Routledge.

Ronquest, R. (2018). Vowels. In K. Geeslin (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Spanish Linguistics (pp. 145-164). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ronquest, R., & Rao, R. (2018). Heritage Spanish Phonetics and Phonology. In K. Potowski (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Spanish as a Heritage Language (pp. 164-177). London/New York: Routledge.

Ronquest, R. (2016). Stylistic variation in heritage Spanish vowel production. The Heritage Language Journal, 13(2), 275-297.


Recent conference presentations:

Michnowicz, J, Ronquest, R., Chetty, S., Oliver, S., & Rodríguez, M. (2019, February). Extending the variable swarm in the Spanish of the Southeast. Paper presented at Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina (SLINKI), Chapel Hill, NC.

Chetty, S., & Ronquest, R. (2018, October). On the Acoustic and Articulatory Realizations of "b" and "v" in Heritage and Immigrant Spanish in the Southeastern United States. Paper presented at The 2018 Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Austin, TX.

Ronquest, R., Miller, F., & Price, N. (2018, February). Intrusive vowel frequency and duration in bilingual speech. Paper presented at Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina (SLINKI), Wake Forest, NC.

Ronquest, R., Michnowicz, J., Wilbanks, E., & Cortes, C. (2018, February). A multi-variable analysis of Spanish in the Southeast. Poster presented at Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina (SLINKI), Wake Forest, NC.

Ronquest, R., Price, N., & Miller, F. (2018, February). Intrusive vowels in bilingual speech. Paper presented at Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology (CASPSLaP), Bloomington, IN.

Willis, E., & Ronquest, R. (2018, April). An acoustic profile of coda liquids and vocalization in Cibao Dominican Spanish. Paper presented at The 9th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (WSS 9), Queens, NY.

Michnowicz, J., Ronquest, R., Wilbanks, E., & Cortes, C. (2017, October) Characterizing Spanish in the Southeastern United States: A multi-variable analysis of first and second generation immigrants. Paper presented at the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC), Wilmington, NC.

Boomershine, A., & Ronquest, R. (2017, February). Teaching pronunciation to Spanish heritage speakers: Research-based suggestions for the classroom. Paper presented at SLINKI: Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.

Graduate Advising

M.A. Culminating projects (Directed or Co-directed)

2019 -- Jeremy Miller: "Motivation in the Acquisition of Spanish Second-language Phonetics." (Co-directed with Dr. Jim Michnowicz)

2017 -- Lindsey Chandler: "Preconsonantal Vowel Duration in Bilingual English – Spanish Speech."

2017 -- Ashley Pahis: "Acoustic characteristics of gay male speech in Spanish."

2017 -- Diana Bertke: "Um...Can bilingualism impact fillers?" (Co-directed with Dr. Jim Michnowicz)


  • Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from Indiana University
  • M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics from Indiana University
  • M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University
  • B.A. in Spanish from The College of William & Mary