Accessibility statement

Articulatory and impressionistic phonetics


  • To give students a thorough training in the skills of articulatory and impressionistic phonetics
  • To teach production of the sounds of the IPA chart
  • To develop an understanding of problems and principles in phonetic description and classification

This module will be capped at 30.


Students must have successfully completed:

  • L09I Intermediate phonetics and phonology (LAN00009I)

Information for visiting students: The teaching of this module assumes that students are already familiar with the general framework of the International Phonetic Alphabet and the basics of phonetic description, including notions such as coarticulation and secondary articulation. Students on this module also need to have basic competence at phonetic transcription. If you are in any doubt about whether you have an appropriate background for this module, contact the module convenor.


Contact hours

Sp 2-5: Lecture (1 hr)
Sp 7-10: Phonetic observation class (1hr)
Sp 2-5, 7-10: seminars and ear training classes (1 hr/wk)
Su 1-4: seminars and ear training classes (2 hr/wk)
Ear training classes limited to about 15 students; usually
2-3 sessions per cohort.

Teaching programme

The practical sessions alternate between seminars and ear training in the spring term, and in the summer term, there is one seminar and one ear training session per week.

Teaching materials

  • Laver, J (1994) Principles of Phonetics (Cambridge: CUP)
  • Ladefoged, P and Maddieson, I (1996) The Sounds of the World's Languages (Oxford: Blackwell)

Suggestions for reading before the module starts

  • International Phonetic Association. 1999. The Handbook of the IPA.

In particular, make sure you understand how the IPA can be used, and familiarise yourself with a couple of languages other than English. This will be a very good grounding for the work of the module.

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on formative work

  • Ear Training (Phonetic production and perception): immediate oral feedback on individual productions; group feedback following phonetic dictation tasks
  • Seminar exercises: immediate oral group feedback
  • There will be three short written pieces of work during the term, with feedback given within two weeks of submission of each

Assessment and feedback

  • Essay
    A 3,000 word essay due week 7 of the summer term. The essay will be on a broad topic allowing students to synthesise material from the whole module, but especially the lecture and seminar components.
    • Weight: 70%
    • Feedback: Marks for the whole module.
  • Examination
    • An oral performance exam; Weight: 15%
    • An aural exam; Weight: 15%

Transferable skills developed in this module

All modules provide an opportunity to work on general oral/written communication skills (in class and in assessments) and general self management (organising your studies), alongside the specific skills in language or linguistics that the module teaches.

In addition, this module will allow you to particularly develop skills in oral communication: the module has an emphasis on oral work, and requires you to present yourself for oral examination in phonetics. Ear-training sessions will help you grow in presenting yourself with confidence.

Follow this link to hear how past students use transferable skills from their degree in their current jobs.

About this module

  • Module name
    Articulatory and impressionistic phonetics
  • Course code
    L16H (LAN00016H)
  • Teacher 
    Richard Ogden
  • Term(s) taught
  • Credits