Introductory course in Phonetics and Phonology

Course outline

Prof. J. S. Coleman
Mondays at 12:00, Taylorian Institution

This lecture course is essential for all students who wish to prepare for Modern Languages Prelims paper IX, and is suitable for students at any level who have not previously studied general phonetics, including second year Modern Languages students who did not follow the course in Prelims, and graduate students. Because of the factual nature of the material, the course is incremental i.e. each lecture presupposes attendance at the earlier ones. The central focus is on general articulatory phonetics, in terms of the classification scheme that underlies the alphabet of the International Phonetic Association. The lectures will constitute an intensive course in general phonetic description, using the categories of the IPA alphabet as a framework for systematically surveying human phonetic capabilities. The 1996 version of the IPA alphabet will be followed. The following are recommended as appropriate reading material:

The following topics will be studied (keeping in step with the eight weeks of term - as far as possible, but not rigidly!).

1. Introduction to phonetics. What is phonetics, and why study it? The primacy of speech. Respiration, pulmonic airstream mechanism. Egressive and ingressive airflow.

2. Air and phonation. States of the velic and glottis.

3. Vowels and consonants. Place of articulation and degrees of stricture.

4. Vowel classification. Primary cardinal vowels.

5. Phonology and Phonetics

6. Meaningful Contrasts

7. Structure and Systems

8. Syllables