Phonology (Q3163)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

You study current phonological theory, covering both theories of phonological representations, such as:

  • distinctive features
  • autosegmental phonology
  • feature geometry
  • syllables and other prosodic phenomena like stress and tone.  

You also look at theories of phonological operations including:

  • rules
  • ordered derivations
  • lexical strata and cyclic derivations
  • constraints and constraint interaction
  • Optimality Theory.

The module is data-oriented, and phonological generalisations will emerge through the analysis of data sets.

You look at data from varieties of English as well as from a range of typologically different languages, shedding light on how English relates to other languages typologically, and what the parameters and limits of phonological variation are.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Problem Set)
50%: Examination (Take away paper)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 24 hours of contact time and 126 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.