Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL1027 : Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology

SEL1027 : Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Niamh Kelly
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Rory Turnbull
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



To establish a basic understanding of language structure with respect to developing the skills necessary for examining and describing linguistic data. This module will heighten metalinguistic awareness in a systematic way that will inform and enhance the sensitivity, accuracy, and clarity of the student's knowledge of language structure, including English. There will also be lectures relating these issues to questions of wider interest (see below).

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to Language Structure

The core of the module consists of the foundations for the study of language, word structure and language sounds & systems. The word structure component in the module includes the word structure of English and other languages, word classes, and word formation processes. The language sounds component examines the representation of speech sounds and articulatory classification, along with the description of consonants and vowels and the structure of the syllable. The fundamental distinction between phonetics and phonology and the distribution of speech sounds will also be introduced.

Throughout the module these structural aspects will be related to wider questions such as: What do we know as speakers of a language? What’s wrong with the English spelling system? What causes a foreign accent? Which aspects of English phonology and morphology are subject to sociolinguistic variation?

This module will lay the foundations for more advanced modules considering sociolinguistic aspects of language and the acquisition of language.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

To arrive at an understanding of the structure of sounds and the linguistics of speech sound systems, and the structure and formation of English words.

At the end of this module students should:
- have acquired knowledge of the basic concepts in phonetics, phonology and morphology
- be able to analyse phonological datasets to determine sound distribution patterns
- be able to analyse morphological datasets to figure out word structure
- be familiar with how phonology and morphology vary across varieties of English
- understand how phonology and morphology fit into the broader field of linguistics

Intended Skill Outcomes

The ability to organise and analyse linguistic data and apply general concepts to particular examples.

Students will also learn:
- critical thinking
- how to read academic texts
- independent learning

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion82:0016:00Preparation of small group work and revision for exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00There will be two lecture hours per week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00Synchronous small-group discussion of module materials with set exercises
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity1014:00140:00Reading subject materials and revising lectures
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures present subject materials to students, building on guided readings. The purpose of the small group work is to back up (by means of summary, elucidation, and illustration) the concepts and analyses presented in the lecture and readings, using active learning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A90Phonetics/phonology/morphology assessment, 3000 words.
Prob solv exercises1M10weekly "pop" quizzes on concepts, definitions, short problem sets.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will complete a set of exercises for the phonetics, phonology and morphology components of the course. They will receive formative feedback to help prepare them for their final written assessment on tasks of a similar nature. Through the formative assessment students will have a chance to complete a mock assessment and mark it themselves in order to gain a better understanding of the marking criteria. The goal of the problem-solving exercises is to give the students an opportunity to practise what they have learned, to ensure they grasp the new concepts, and to check their ability to apply newly acquired knowledge to new examples.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.