Module QXL-1115:
Intro to Phonetics & Phonology

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Sarah Cooper

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to the basic concepts in the fields of phonetics and phonology. The first half of the module (semester 1) will focus on the field of phonetics: it will concentrate on some of the general principles involved in speech production and how to articulate and transcribe the sounds using the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). The second half of the module (semester 2) will focus on the study of phonology. Using examples from varieties of English and other languages, we will look at how sound systems are structured (alternations and phonotactics) and how speakers’ phonological knowledge can be described and represented.

Aims:
1. To provide students with a working understanding of the key terms, ideas, and concepts in the field of phonetics and phonology.
2. To familiarise students with the basic symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet, including all those symbols needed to describe English.
3. To provide students with the terminology appropriate to the description of consonants and vowels, including the parameters of description on the IPA chart.
4. To provide students with an understanding 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.
5. To provide students with an understanding of the basic structure of sound systems across languages, and the ways in which this is established analytically.
6. To familiarise students with the types of unit that are commonly used in phonological analysis, such as phonemes and features.
7. To familiarise students with some common phonological phenomena and their formal accounts, including a range of theoretical tools such as rules and representations.

Course content

This class is an introduction to the phonetics of spoken languages, covering:
- articulatory phonetics.
- acoustics.
- introductory phonology.

Areas covered include:
- anatomy of the vocal tract and terminology used to describe speech articulators.
- articulatory phonetics, with an emphasis on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and how to use it to transcribe speech.
- an introduction to acoustic theory as it relates to speech sounds.
- the nature of phonological patterns (alternation and phonotactics).
- melody and prosody.
- and the structural representation of speakers’ phonological knowledge.

The knowledge and skills acquired here will be essential for many other modules and/or projects.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D range = Below average
◦ Knowledge of key areas/principles only
◦ Weaknesses in understanding of main areas
◦ Limited evidence of background study
◦ Answer only poorly focussed on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure
◦ Arguments presented but lack coherence
◦ Several factual/computational errors
◦ No original interpretation
◦ Only major links between topics are described
◦ Limited problem solving
◦ Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy

good

B range = Good
◦ Strong knowledge
◦ Understands most but not all
◦ Evidence of background study
◦ Focussed answer with good structure
◦ Arguments presented coherently
◦ Mostly free of factual/computational errors
◦ Some limited original interpretation
◦ Well known links between topics are described
◦ Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches
◦ Good presentation with accurate communication

excellent

A range = Excellent
◦ Comprehensive knowledge
◦ Detailed understanding
◦ Extensive background study
◦ Highly focussed answer and well structured
◦ Logically presented and defended arguments
◦ No factual/computational errors
◦ Original interpretation
◦ New links between topics are developed
◦ New approach to a problem

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will know about modern phonological theory - how sound systems are structured and how sounds and phonological processes are represented.

  2. Students will develop the ability to recognise and identify different sounds, and to transcribe them using the IPA.

  3. Students will be familiar with and able to describe the properties of sounds, and understand how these properties affect the way sounds behave.

  4. Students will know about the types of phonological processes that languages employ, using examples from varieties of English and other languages.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CLASS TEST Online Phonetics Test (1.5 hours)

Blackboard based exam. A number of multiple choice and short answer questions completed on the computer.

45
COURSEWORK Online Phonology Exercise

An “open book”, Blackboard-based exercise on phonology accessible from any computer with internet access. It will include multiple choice, true/false, data analysis, and open-ended questions, and assesses material covered during the second half of the module. Data analysis will take the form of a dataset and you will be required to discern the underlying.

55

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Directed Reading - students are given required reading each fortnight (of about 2 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.

22
Tutorial

Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.

2
Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.

149
Lecture

One 2-hour lecture per fortnight (over both semesters) Lectures will include in-class discussion of practical applications of the materials considered in this module.

22
Seminar

One 1 hour seminar per month. Seminars will include exercises/data analysis to provide practice (which forms part of formative assessment throughout the module), with additional exercises to be done in the students' own time.

5

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.

Subject specific skills

  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies to an advanced standard.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse and interpret data accurately and to draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate to an advanced standard a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Personal organisation - students will develop the ability to undertake self-directed study and learning with appropriate time-management
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.
  • Fluency, confidence and proficiency in the use of English -students will demonstrate their ability and proficiency to use and understand and instruct others in English in a range of academic and classroom contexts.
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity
  • Understanding of the nature and organisation of language - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and mind/brain - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language and mind/brain.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language and EFL studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language and EFL studies.
  • Problem solving - students will be able to evidence problem-solving skills in formulating problems (factual, empirical, theoretical) in precise terms, identifying key issues, and developing the confidence to address challenging problems using a variety of different approaches
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Fluency, confidence and proficiency in the use of English -students will demonstrate their ability and proficiency to use and understand and instruct others in English in a range of academic and classroom contexts.
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Personal organisation - students will develop the ability to undertake self-directed study and learning with appropriate time-management

Resources

Resource implications for students

None

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxl-1115.html

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: