SECL (English Language & Linguistics)

Confirmation that this version of the module specification has been approved by the School Learning
and Teaching Committee:
……… A. Stähler, 22 JAN 2015……….(date)
Title of the module
LL525 – The Study of Speech
School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module
SECL (English Language & Linguistics)
Start date of the module
Autumn 2013 (Revised for September 2015)
The number of students expected to take the module
Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation
with other relevant Schools and Faculties regarding the withdrawal
The level of the module (e.g. Level 4, Level 5, Level 6, or Level 7)
Level 5
The number of credits and the ECTS value which the module represents
30 (15 ECTS)
Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)
Autumn or Spring
Prerequisite and co-requisite modules
Foundations of Language 1 (LL310)
10. The programmes of study to which the module contributes
This module will be optional for all students on the BA in English Language and Linguistics; it will
also be available as a wild module to students in the faculties of Humanities, and to students on
the Erasmus Exchange programme provided the Erasmus students have the requisite
11. The intended subject specific learning outcomes
By the end of the module, the students will:
11.1. have 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
11.2. understand how speech sounds are produced and perceived; students should also
have an understanding of speech acoustics
11.3. have a good level of familiarity with the types of experimental research that contribute
to our knowledge of how speech is produced and perceived and of how this research
informs our understanding of sound system organization
11.4. acquire a cogent understanding of the English language and its varieties
11.5. be able to 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
11.6. be able to interpret visual representations of speech using relevant software (Praat)
and should have mastered 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)
be able to solve intermediate-level phonology problems using appropriate tests and
12. The intended generic learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
12.1. show critical thinking and analytical skills
12.2. demonstrate the ability to undertake independent learning in order to complete their
12.3. 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
12.4. use IT skills to analyse data, take exams, and present information effectively
13. A synopsis of the curriculum
This module deals with the linguistic study of speech. It covers how speech sounds are produced
and perceived and what their acoustic characteristics are (often referred to as phonetics), as well
as how speech sounds are organized 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 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 organization of running speech,
together with the repercussions that our current knowledge about running speech has for our
understanding of phonological systems, their organization and formal representation.
14. Indicative Reading List
Ashby, Michael and John Maidment (2005) Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge University
Gussenhoven, C. & Jacobs, H. (1998) Understanding Phonology. London: Hodder & Arnold.
Ladefoged, P. & Johnson, K. (2010) A Course in Phonetics (6th edition). Cengage Learning.
Ladefoged, Peter (2003) Phonetic Data Analysis. Blackwell.
Ladefoged, Peter (1996) Elements of Acoustic Phonetics. Chicago: The University of Chicago
Zsiga, E. C. (2013) The Sounds of Language: An introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, WileyBlackwell.
15. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and
the total study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to
achievement of the intended learning outcomes
This module will be taught in two weekly sessions, a one-hour lecture and a two hour-seminar.
The lectures will address key aspects of phonetics and phonology with appropriate examples
(visual and auditory) and problems (learning outcomes 11.1-4; learning outcome 12.1). The
seminars will provide for in-depth practice and discussion of the topics covered in the lectures,
including the use of the IPA alphabet and of freeware for recording and analysing speech
(learning outcomes 11.5-7, 12.1-4).
Total number of study hours for the module (including all contact time, private study and work on
assignments): 300
16. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended
learning outcomes
100% Coursework:
50% Timed written in-class test, including questions on articulation, acoustics and phonetic
transcription (120 minutes; learning outcomes 11.1-7 and 12.1-4)
50% Take-home problem set, including work with visual representations of speech using relevant
software and discussion of phonology problem sets (equivalent 1,500 words; learning outcomes
11.1-7 and 12.1-4)
17. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space
Staffing will be provided from the existing resources of the Department of English Language and
Linguistics. The library holds all the titles in the indicative reading list, including multiple and e2
copies of key texts. Seminars should be scheduled to take place in SECL’s Multimedia Lab which
has facilities appropriate for the seminars.
18. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality
legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in
its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary,
including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for
students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements
for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis, in consultation
with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service, and specialist support will be
provided where needed.
19. Campus(es) where module will be delivered: