Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Rina Kreitman checkmark-circle


This module deals with the linguistic study of speech. It covers how speech sounds are produced and perceived and what their acoustic characteristics are. Emphasis will be placed on the sound system of English (including dialectal variation) but basics of sound systems across the world's languages will also be briefly covered and contrasted with English. Finally, the course will cover the differences between the traditional "static" view of speech sounds as articulatory postures and the organisation of running speech.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Problem Set 1 – 50%
Problem Set 2 – 50%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the central areas of the study of speech and of the problems with the traditional separation of the study of speech into phonetics and phonology;
2 Understand how speech sounds are produced and perceived; students should also have an understanding of speech acoustics;
3 Display a high level of familiarity with the types of experimental research that contribute to our knowledge of how speech is produced and perceived;
4 Demonstrate a cogent understanding of the English language and its varieties;
5 Use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent speech sounds and to refer to the IPA for guidance, while being cognizant of the controversies surrounding the use of the IPA and its limitations;
6 Interpret visual representations of speech using relevant software (Praat) and demonstrate a critical understanding of the basic functions of Praat (recording and playing files, cutting and pasting speech, doing basic measurements of duration, amplitude and fundamental frequency of speech sounds).

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Show critical thinking and analytical skills;
2 Demonstrate the ability to undertake independent learning in order to complete their assignments;
3 Communicate the results of their study accurately and coherently and in writing, both in and beyond the contexts in which these skills were first acquired;
4 Use IT skills to analyse data, take exams, and present information effectively.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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