Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Issues in Phonetics and Phonology

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology

DESCRIPTION The study-unit LIN2350 (4 ECTS) consists of two connected sub-components dealing with Issues in Phonetics and Phonology, which build on the earlier introduction provided in LIN1150 by delving deeper into various aspects of the structure, patterning and representation of the sounds used in human languages:

1. Issues in Phonetics (LIN2351): This sub-component provides students with a firm grounding in theories and frameworks which have been developed to describe and classify speech sounds at both the segmental and the non-segmental, particularly prosodic, levels, through discussion of topics such as: a) the architecture of phonetic classification; b) sound systems of the world's languages; c) consideration of select segmental and non-segmental, particularly prosodic, phenomena. In addition, this sub-component will also cover some basic elements of Acoustic Phonetics, which are covered in greater detail in LIN2099 Acoustic Phonetics. This will provide students with a preliminary understanding of how the way sounds are produced impacts on their acoustic structure.

2. Issues in Phonology (LIN2352): This sub-component will further students' understanding of phonological theory through in-depth study of a variety of theories and frameworks which have been developed in an attempt at explaining phonological phenomena of different sorts, segmental ones as well as prosodic ones, with a particular emphasis on syllable structure, stress, rhythm and intonation. Further opportunities to develop both transcription skills and analytic ability will be provided through practical sessions organised in such a way as to complement the theoretical ones.

Both sub-components aim to deepen students' understanding of the ways in which sound is structured in order to create meanings in typologically diverse languages, and of the developments in phonetic and phonological theories which attempt to explain the phenomena involved.

The individual sub-components can be taken separately as LIN2351 and LIN2352 by visiting or occasional students although these will be required to provide evidence of having knowledge of material covered in LIN1150.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit is intended for students who already have a basic knowledge of Phonetics and Phonology, such as that covered in the introductory unit LIN1150, or its equivalent.

The unit aims to deepen this knowledge, providing, a solid grounding in theories of phonetics and phonology which have been developed to account for a variety of segmental and non-segmental, including prosodic, phenomena which occur in the languages of the world.

The study-unit further aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge of frameworks together with the ability to apply these to the practical analysis of spoken data using the appropriate formalisms and notation.

A number of practical sessions will be organised in such a way as to complement the theoretical ones. These sessions will provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge being acquired in the theoretical sessions to the analysis of data provided with a view to uncovering phonological patterns in these data and to formulating generalisations using appropriate formalisms.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- have a firm understanding of basic concepts in phonetics and phonology;
- use appropriate terminology to describe spoken data from the point of view of both phonetic and phonological characteristics;
- determine the difference between the non-linguistic and paralinguistic functions of prosodic features from their suprasegmental or prosodic functions;
- understand what contribution to meaning is brought about by prosodic features at both the lexical and sentence levels;
- have a critical grasp of theories of phonetics and phonology developed with a view to characterising and explaining a variety of segmental, as well as non-segmental, particularly prosodic, phenomena;
- critically evaluate different theories and frameworks as a function of their explanatory efficacy;
- distinguish between phonetics and phonology on the one hand, whilst also appreciating the interrelationship between the two disciplines on the other.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- listen to and transcribe both segmental and prosodic aspects of speech using appropriate IPA symbols as well as other notation and conventions;
- have a preliminary understanding of how the way in which sounds are produced impacts on their acoustic make-up and of how a speech analysis tool such as PRAAT can provide "visual" information about these sounds useful in analysing speech;
- analyse more complex data (including data focusing on prosodic phenomena) with a view to applying knowledge of different frameworks in the analysis.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Abercrombie, D. (1967). Elements of general phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Ball, M. (2016). Principles of clinical phonology: Theoretical approaches. New York: Routledge.
- Couper-Kuhlen, E. (1986). An introduction to English prosody. London: Edward Arnold.
- Cruttenden, A. (1997). Intonation (2nd edition.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- de Lacy, P. (2012). The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Gordon, M. K. (2016). Phonological typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Gussenhoven, C. & Jacobs, H. (2011). Understanding phonology (3rd edition). London: Arnold.
- Gussenhoven, C. (2004). The phonology of tone and intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- International Phonetic Association. (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Katamba, F. (1989). An Introduction to phonology. London: Longman.
- Ladd, D. R. (2008). Intonational phonology (2nd edition.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Ladefoged, P. (2001) Vowels and consonants: An introduction to the Sounds of Languages. Blackwell.
- Ladefoged, P. (2003). Phonetic data anaysis: An introduction to fieldwork and instrument techniques.
- Ladefoged, P. and Maddieson, I. (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Lass, R. (1984). Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Laver, J. (1994). Principles of phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- McMahon, A. (2002). An introduction to English phonology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Odden, D. (2013). Introducing phonology (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Spencer, A. (1996). Phonology: Theory and description. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Wells, J. C. (2006). English intonation: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Zsiga, E. C. (2013). The sounds of language. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Main text-books will be identified and announced at the start of study-unit. Specific readings will be assigned on a topic-by-topic basis in the course of the study-unit.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite Study-unit: LIN1150 or equivalent

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Practical

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM2 Yes 40%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 60%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.