This course introduces students to the practical and theoretical study of speech sounds (phonetics),
and to the systematic use of such sounds in language (phonology).
In the first semester, emphasis is placed on familiarity with articulatory phonetics
(the anatomical properties of speech sounds) and phonetic transcription, as well as acoustic phonetics and auditory phonetics (the physical properties of speech sounds,
and the science of speech perception, respectively).
The second semester focuses on phonological theory, including the basics of allophonic relations and analysis.
The first semester is divided into three parts. The first half of the class concentrates on articulation and the organs of speech, and on familiarizing students with the International Phonetic Association
alphabet and phonetic transcription. After the midterm, the class focuses on distinctive feature theory, as well as continuing to develop skills for real-time transcription. In the final weeks of the class,
we review acoustic and auditory phonetics.
In the second semester, we begin with an introduction to phonology and rule-based phonological analysis. After the midterm, we move on to analyses with interacting rules and, if time permits, introduce Optimality Theory.
There are three main goals of this course:
Introduce students to the study of sound, the sounds of the world’s languages, and phonetic transcription.
Introduce students to phonology ‒ the study of linguistic sound patterns, one of the two major branches of linguistics.
Bolster students’ analytical skills, especially through applying familiar concepts to unfamiliar data.