Phonetics and Phonology (Q3163)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module gives you a grounding in the fundamentals of phonetics and phonology.

Building on the articulatory phonetics covered in the first year, you’ll explore acoustic analysis and develop the concepts of syllables, stress, tone and phonemes.

You’ll be introduced to key theories of phonological representation, such as distinctive features and autosegmental phonology. You’ll also look at theories of phonological operations, including:

  • rules
  • ordered derivations
  • constraints and constraint interaction
  • Optimality Theory.

The module is data-oriented, and phonological generalisations will emerge through the analysis of data sets. You will look at data from varieties of English and typologically different languages. This will shed light on how English relates to other languages typologically, and what the parameters and limits of phonological variation are.


48%: Lecture
52%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: