This course introduces students to English phonetics and phonology. The main focus is on articulatory phonetics. First, students will learn how to correctly articulate, describe, and transcribe English speech sounds; consonants and vowels.The International Phonetic Association (IPA) symbols are introduced and used in transcription. Students will also learn the main differences between British English and American English, particularly in vowels. Second, the stress patterns of English words are introduced and the concepts of syllable, foot, and rhythm are presented. Third, proper intonation patterns of English utterances are introduced according to sentence mode (statement, yes-no question, wh-question, declarative questions, and exclamations). Finally and if time allows, students will learn how to annotate English utterances using the latest framework currently used for transcribing intonation (the auto-segmental metrical approach). Examples and commentary on other varieties of English such as Irish English (IrE), Scottish Standard English (SSE), and Urban varieties of American English are discussed throughout the course.
By the end of the course students are expected to:
Understand how speech sounds are produced and articulated and be able to describe vowels and consonants of the English language.
Be familiar with the International Phonetic Association (IPA) symbols and capable of transcribing English utterances whether single words or sentences.
Understand the concepts of syllable and word stress and be able to identify the stressed syllable in any given English word.
Understand the concepts of foot and rhythm.
Be familiar with the major phonological differences between the two reference varieties of English; British English and American English.
Recognize that there are different accents and dialects of English which results in various pronunciation and phonological rules.
Understand how intonation works and be familiar with functions of the major pitch accents in English (British and American).
Carr, P. 2013. English phonetics and phonology: an introduction.2nd Ed. UK: Oxford. Blackwell publishing Ltd.
Additional Readings and References:
International Phonetic Association. 1991. Handbook of the international phonetic association. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ladefoged, P. 1993. A course in phonetics, 3rded. New York: Hartcourt Brace College Publishers.
Roach, P. 2010. English phonetics and phonology: a practical course.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wells, J. C. 1982. Accents of English. rpt. 1996 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Students are advised to have a file/folder as they will be given worksheets and material from different references throughout the course. Exercises in phonetic description and transcription will provide a means of illustrating and practising the basic principles introduced. There will be several PowerPoint presentations and relevant video screening throughout the course. Students are advised to consult any of the major British or American dictionaries to check their pronunciation and transcription. As most electronic dictionaries do not use the IPA symbols, the use of such dictionaries is discouraged. Students are advised to read the relevant material before attending class to better grasp the basic concepts discussed. Students should have access to the contents of this course available on the E-course.
This course plan is subject to modifications. Students will be notified of any changes beforehand.
You are expected to be in class on time. Students coming late are allowed to enter but will be counted as absent. The same applies to leaving class early. No exceptions.
Participation and students’ involvement are crucial to the success of the course. All students are expected to read the assigned materials before lectures in order to fully engage in the discussions.
The University allows students to be absent SEVEN times during the semester. These times include those with an excuse. If you exceed this limit, you will not be allowed to sit for the final exam. The only excuse that would remove your absence from your record is in case of a conflict with another course (a scheduled written exam).
No make-up exams. In case of absence in exams because of sickness, only reports issued directly from a public clinic or hospital will be accepted. Medical reports from private practiced doctors or private hospitals will not be accepted even if they are stamped by the university’s clinic. Reports should be produced within a week of the date of the exam. No exceptions.