This module introduces students to the study of phonetics and phonology—the study of the sounds and sound patterns of human language.
Module will run
Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21
This module introduces students to the phonetic and phonological analysis of language, starting with phonetics and moving on to phonology. The phonetics part covers the basics of articulatory and impressionistic phonetics. The phonology part covers the position of phonology within the human linguistic system, recurrent phonological phenomena in the world's languages and the phonological notation most commonly used by linguists.
Module learning outcomes
At the end of this module:
You will be familiar with the basic symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet, including all those symbols needed to describe English
You will know the terminology appropriate to the description of consonants and vowels, including the parameters of description on the IPA chart
You will understand something of the relationship between the sounds of speech and the abstract linguistic system that underlies them, as well as the relationship of phonetics and phonology to the wider linguistic system
You will understand the basic structure of sound systems across languages, and the ways in which this is established analytically
You will know some of the types of unit that are commonly used in phonology, such as phonemes and features
You will be familiar with some common phonological phenomena and formal accounts of them, including a range of notational devices such as rules and hierarchical representation
At the end of this module:
You will be able to recognise many of the sounds of the IPA chart and the parameters along which sounds can vary, and describe them using appropriate terminology and symbolisation
You will be able to establish phonological categories on the basis of contrast
You will be able to produce simple phonetic descriptions and broad phonetic transcriptions of short stretches of speech
You will be able to provide appropriate structural descriptions of syllables using appropriate phonological notation
You will be able to compare competing analyses of simple phenomena and evaluate their relative success
This course is divided into two sessions, covering phonetics then phonology:
Introduction to basic phonetics including anatomy of the vocal tract, sounds in speech, vowels and consonants.
Introduction to phonology including sounds in use, phonological inventories, syllables and phonological patterns.
Revision classes will be used to review topics and provide revision exercises in preparation for the summer term exam.
In terms 1-2, you have one lecture and one tutorial every week (tutorials/seminars start from week 3 in terms 1-2).
Your private study should include preparation of tutorial/seminar exercises, reading the essential set reading and completion of self-assessment tests on the VLE.
Additional ‘backup’ sessions will be offered for students who need some extra tutorial time to prepare for seminars or to clarify the content of lectures and readings.
The Anatomy of Speech
The Sounds of Speech
... to Consonants
Sounds in Use
5, 6 or 7
% of module mark
24 hour open exam Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology
Essay/coursework Summative assignment 1
Essay/coursework Summative assignment 2
Special assessment rules
Additional assessment information
The course is divided into eight two-week blocks. For each two-week block you are required to complete two types of exercises:
Self-assessment tests These are on Yorkshare (ie on the VLE) - you complete these at your own pace, but be sure to do the tests for each block of the course before the next block starts; in order to pass this module you must attempt all of the Yorkshare formative tests.
Project work You will need to work on components of the project throughout term one and two; the project prepares you for submission of summative coursework by the end of Term 2.
These formative assessment tasks will include a variety of activities such as:
Exercises in phonetic observation and transcription, using the IPA
Exercises in phonological analysis using formal notation where appropriate
Exercises which require you to gather, sort and present information from a variety of sources
The project tasks require you to use the library to find out the phonetic or phonological properties of a particular language
To help you assess your progress there is an obligatory in-class test which takes place in week one of term two. The test is similar in format to the final exam at the end of the year but only tests those parts of the course that have already been covered.
Date: due in week 10 of Spring term and week 1 of Summer term
A 90 minute closed exam
Date: weeks 5-7, Summer term
% of module mark
24 hour open exam Reassessment: Introduction to Phonetics & Phonology
Feedback within four weeks of submission.
For the phonetics part of the course in the Autumn Term, readings are set each week from the following book:
Ogden, Richard (2017) An introduction to English phonetics. 2nd edition. Edinburgh University Press.
Although there are copies of this book in the library you are strongly advised to buy a copy for your own personal use.
You may see copies for sale of the first edition of this book, published in 2009. If you want to buy second hand then it is fine to get the 2009 edition, but if you want to invest in a new book we recommend you get the 2017 edition.
For the phonology part of the course in the Spring Term, readings are set each week from the following book:
Nathan, G. (2008). Phonology: a cognitive grammar introduction. John Benjamins.
The book is available as an ebook via the university library, or for short term loan from the library Key Texts, so you do not need to buy a copy.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.