Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


This module deals with the linguistic study of speech. It covers how speech sounds are organised into sound systems cross-linguistically (often referred to as phonology). 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 covered and contrasted with English for the module will focus on our understanding of phonological systems, their organisation and formal representation.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Problem Set 1 (equivalent to 1,500 words) – 50%
• Problem Set 2 (equivalent to 1,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative reading list:

Goldsmith, J.A. (1999) Phonological Theory: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Gussenhoven, C. & Jacobs, H. (1998) Understanding Phonology. London: Hodder & Arnold.
Zsiga, E.C. (2013) The Sounds of Language: An introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Oxford Wiley-Blackwell.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the central areas of the study of speech and of the differences between phonetics and phonology;
Display a critical understanding of sound system organisation;
Demonstrate a cogent understanding of the English language and its varieties, and how this variation can lead into different phonological systems;
Use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for guidance, while being cognizant of the controversies surrounding the use of the IPA and its limitations;
Solve intermediate and advanced level phonology problems using appropriate tests and arguments.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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