Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL2000 : Phonological Theory

SEL2000 : Phonological Theory

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rory Turnbull
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Niamh Kelly
  • 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

Code Title
SEL1027Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology
Pre Requisite Comment

SEL1027 *or equivalent*. Erasmus students and transfers in from other universities must have an appropriate background, i.e. an understanding of basic phonetics and phonology.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



A course in intermediate phonetics and phonology, this module builds on the foundations laid in SEL1027, introducing theoretical models of phonetics and phonology. The aim is for students to investigate a number of phonetic and phonological models, including both derivational and optimality theoretic, in order for them to come to an understanding of how evidence and argumentation are used in theory building.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics may include
- Review of phonetics and phonology
- Alternations
- Phonemic analysis
- Distinctive features
- Rule interactions
- Syllables, stress and tone
- Constraint-based analysis
- Theory comparison

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- arrive at an understanding of the structure of sound systems
- understand phonological relationships within such systems
- learn to employ and assess the formalisms necessary for building a grammar of the phonology of a language
- examine alternative means to the resolution of phonological problems

Intended Skill Outcomes

- develop the tools to capture relationships within phonological systems
- ability to evaluate theories of phonology
- assimilate and analyse data from different sources
- utilise data to support linguistic analyses

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion167:0067:00Completion of assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00Reading set texts
Guided Independent StudySkills practice130:0030:00Practice problem sets from texts and other online resources
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00General reading and revision
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8154Issues in Phonological Theory I
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to knowledge outcomes. Weekly seminars develop this knowledge as well as the skills necessary for phonological analysis, and allow the practical application of analytical skills in an interactive environment. Private study is an important part of the programme, requiring close reading of the materials both in advance of lectures and as a follow up to them. Students will be expected to do regular assigments intended to probe and expand the students' understanding of the concepts covered in lectures.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M20This will consist of a data analysis problem set
Essay1A802000-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-term exercise will contribute to the students' familiarity with phonological analysis.

The final assessments by essay and analysis problem allows students to explore and grasp the full range of topics investigated in the module, and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their full command of the skills practised in the seminars.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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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.