Erik W. Willis

Erik W. Willis

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

Director, Hispanic Linguistics Program


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003
  • M.A., Brigham Young University, 1997
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1994


  • Spanish phonetics and phonology, Laboratory phonology, Variation

Selected publications

  • Nicholas C. Henriksen, Kimberly L. Geeslin and Erik W. Willis. Accepted. The effects of a home-stay program in León, Spain on L2 Spanish intonation: global contours and final boundary movements. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2009. The Role of Abstraction in Spanish Phonology: A Laboratory Perspective. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, vol. 2(1) 207-219.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2008. no se comen, pero sí se mascan: varición de las vocales plenas en el español dominicano. In Las Actas de la Asociación de Lingüística y Filolgía de Latino-América, Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Willis, Erik W.& Travis Bradley. 2008. Contrast Maintenance of Taps and Trills in Dominican Spanish: Data and Analysis. I Selected Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology, ed. Laura Colantini & Geoffrey Steele, 87-100. Somerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2007. An Acoustic Study of the “Pre-aspirated Trill” in Narrative Cibaeño Dominican Spanish. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37. 33-49.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2005 (2007). An Initial Examination of Southwest Spanish Vowels. Southwest Journal of Lingusitics, 24. 185-198.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2007. Tonal Prominence Relations in Dominican Spanish Declaratives and Interrogatives. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics 5/6 1 & 2. 179-202.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2006. Trill Variation in Dominican Spanish: An Acoustic Examination and Comparative Analysis. In Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, ed. Nuria Sagarra and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, 121-131. Sommerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2005. Tonal Levels in Puebla Mexico Spanish Declaratives and Absolute Interrogatives. In Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Romance Linguistics, ed. Randall Gess and Ed Rubin, 351–363. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2004. Dominican Spanish Absolute Interrogatives in Broad Focus. In Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonology, ed. Timothy Face, 61-91. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2003. Prenuclear Low Tone Alignment in Dominican Spanish. In Proceedings of the XV International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, ed. Maria-Josep Solé, Daniel Recasens & Joaquín Romero, 2941-2944. Barcelona: Futurgraphic.
  • Willis, Erik W. 2002. Is There a Spanish Imperative Intonation Revisited: Local Considerations. Linguistics 40:347-374.

Current research projects

  • Utterance signaling through intonation
  • Trills in Veracruz, Mexican Spanish
  • Dominican Spanish (acoustic characterization)
  • Acquisition of L2 phonology