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Advanced phonetics



This module aims:

  • to give students an understanding of the acoustics of speech, how speech acoustics relates to production and perception in articulatory terms
  • to equip students with the ability to reason about speech based on a range of phonetic evidence and using theoretical as well as practical tools
  • to equip students with the ability to design simple but effective data collection for further analysis



Contact hours

There is a 1 hour lecture and 2 hour practical each week.

Teaching programme

You will know and understand the essentials of the acoustics of speech, including:

  • Sound as an acoustic and auditory phenomenon
  • The source-filter theory of speech production
  • Acoustic properties of the source and filter
  • Articulation and resonance
  • Common ways of representing speech acoustically: waveforms, spectrograms, spectra, F0 traces
  • Contextual effects on speech sounds (illustrated through English)
  • How the acoustics of speech relates to articulation

You will know and understand the essentials of speech perception, including:

  • The basics of hearing
  • Acoustic cues to speech sounds
  • Categorical perception

You will know and understand some of the issues in data collection, including:

  • Making recordings
  • Sampling in digital recordings
  • Designing materials for recording

You will be able to do the following things:

  • Reason about speech production and perception, combining articulatory, acoustic and auditory evidence
  • Use software for the acoustic analysis of speech, and to produce images for insertion into documents
  • Design a simple acoustic phonetic study, taking ethics into account

Teaching materials

Key texts:

  • Gloria Borden, Katherine S. Harris, Lawrence J. Raphael: Speech Science Primer
  • Nigel Hewlett, Janet Beck: An introduction to the Science of Phonetics
  • Keith Johnson. Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics (3rd edition), Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
  • J. M. Pickett: The Acoustics of Speech Communication



Formative work

  • a short lab report


  • open exam

About this module

  • Module name
    Advanced phonetics
  • Course code
    L69M (LAN00069M)
  • Teacher 
    Sarah Kelly
  • Term(s) taught
  • Credits