Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL2236 : It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation

SEL2236 : It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation

  • 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 2 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



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module provides an overview of the functions of prosody and intonation in English and other spoken languages. Students will develop an understanding of both the abstract theory and practical methods used in investigating this multifaceted aspect of spoken language.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics may include
- phonetics of pitch and f0
- prosodic transcription
- autosegmental-metrical theory
- prosody and syntax
- focus
- information status
- prosodic typology

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- knowledge of how the human vocal apparatus is able to create intonation
- understanding of how languages use prosody to convey meaning
- understanding of different kinds of meaning
- knowledge of current theories and practices in prosodic research

Intended Skill Outcomes

- formal analysis of meaning
- acoustic analysis of speech
- designing and implementing experiments to test hypotheses
- analysing and evaluating data

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion190:0090:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading177:0077:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8698Melody in Language
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to the knowledge and skill outcomes. Seminars consolidate the skill outcomes through discussion and skills practice. Private study is an important part of the programme, requiring close reading of the material both in advance of lectures and as a follow-up to them.

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 exercise2A753000 word research project
Written exercise2M251000 word report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-module written exercise is a short report on the students' work in the seminar, aiding them to hone the skills needed for the final assessment.
The final final assessment is a student-led research project, allowing them to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills developed throughout the semester.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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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.