English Phonology course outline (2007-2008) 2 Oct : Class 1 Phoneme theory

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MPhil in English and Applied Linguistics

English Phonology course outline (2007-2008)
2 Oct : Class 1 Phoneme theory

  • What is phonology? What does a phonological system imply? The relationship between abstract phonological entities and phonetic realisations;

  • The work of early phonologists in developing phoneme theory: ‘concrete’, ‘mentalist’ and ‘structuralist’ phonemes; the role of opposition and contrast in phoneme theory; the structuralist view and its drawbacks;

  • The phoneme in child language; Phoneme theory and applied linguistics; categorical perception.

9 Oct Class 2 Phonemic systems

  • How phonemic systems vary; universals; neutralisation, the archiphoneme

  • Classifying English vowels and consonants; Vowel quality and length; Different theoretical accounts of the English phonemic system; Abstract and phonetic specification

  • Implications for accounts of accent diversification and sound change, implications for L2 learners.

16 Oct Class 3 Structure in phonology

  • Phonotactics; defining the syllable; sonority; loanwords and structural constraints; English consonants and syllable structure; Cross-linguistic similarities and differences;

  • Structure above the syllable: morphemes, words, phrases;

  • Relevance for L2 learners; Segmentation in language processing.

23 Oct Class 4 Phonological processes

  • Citation forms and continuous speech, contextual variation, simplification; Domains and the application of processes;

  • Phonological processes: consonant assimilation, coarticulation, consonant weakening, vowel reduction, elision of vowels and consonants, resyllabification;

  • Relevance for foreign learners in production and comprehension; phonological processes and language comprehension.

30 Oct Class 5 Theoretical developments 1: Features and autosegments

  • Beyond the phoneme: Why and how? Biuniqueness, invariance and linearity; Distinctive features, redundancy matrices, naturalness and markedness, underlying and surface forms, rewrite rules;

  • Beyond the feature: Nonlinear vs. linear approaches; Redundancy and underspecification;

  • Implications for representations in language processing.

6 Nov Class 6 Theoretical developments 2: Constraints

  • Beyond rules: Universals and markedness, rules and exceptions, rule ordering, economy, arbitrariness, variation;

  • Abstractness of lexical representations and phonotactics in a constraint-based framework: underlying and surface forms, Richness of the Base, Faithfulness, loanword adaptation;

  • OT and language acquisition;

  • Some current issues in phonology: Opacity, Phonetics vs. phonology.

13 Nov Class 7 English prosody 1: Stress, accent, rhythm

  • Phonetic correlates of suprasegmental phenomena; stressed and unstressed syllables; stress-shift; the relation between lexical stress and accent

  • Nonlinear representations of stress in metrical phonology, foot structure, light and heavy syllables, quantity;

  • Rhythm: rhythm classes; the phonetics and phonology of rhythm;

  • Prosodic typology; the functions of stress, rhythm and prosodic grouping; the mapping between segmental and suprasegmental structure; prosody and language processing.

20 Nov Class 8 English prosody 2: Intonation and its functions

  • English intonation in the British tradition: Organisation into tone groups/contours, structure of the tune, tune types, placement of tonic/focus and the nucleus;

  • Tones and Autosegmental Theory, Autosegmental-Metrical accounts of intonation, AM in OT

  • Intonation and meaning, linguistic and paralinguistic features, biological codes;

  • Intonation and child language.

27 Nov Class 9a Sounds and spelling in English

  • The principles underlying English orthography; relations between phonemes and graphemes;

  • Morpho-phonological and morpho-lexical relationships as represented in the orthography – a ‘mixed system’ serving widely varying accents.

27 Nov Class 9b L2 phonology and teaching English pronunciation

  • Some issues in second language phonology;

  • A brief guide to some basic principles of teaching pronunciation at different levels with different goals.

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