Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL8154 : Issues in Phonological Theory I

SEL8154 : Issues in Phonological Theory I

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): 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

Some prior knowledge of phonetics & phonology.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module assumes some prior knowledge of phonetics and phonology and aims to achieve critical awareness of phonological models and theories on the part of the student. The aim is for students to investigate a number of 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 phonological 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 a critical understanding of sound systems
• Understand phonological relationships within such systems and apply that understanding
• 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 tools to capture relationships within phonological systems
• Assimilate and analyse data from different sources
• Utilise data to support linguistic analyses
• Ability to evaluate theories of language

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1167:00167:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL2000Phonological Theory
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to knowledge outcomes. Weekly seminars develop this knowledge as well as the skills necessary for phonological analysis. Moreover, the students will be encouraged in the seminars to reflect on their own language (often not English). 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. The assessement essay will require the application of their acquired knowledge to some set of data not dealt with in the 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
Essay1A403,000 words.
Prob solv exercises1M20N/A
Prob solv exercises1A40N/A
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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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.