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SEL8698 : Melody in Language

  • 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


This module provides a postgraduate-level overview of the functions of prosody and intonation in English and other spoken languages. Students will develop advanced understanding and skills in:
- acoustic approaches to the physical nature of prosody and intonation
- theoretical approaches to the physical nature of prosody and intonation
- theoretical approaches to the syntactic and semantic aspects of prosody and intonation
- practical experimental methods for the investigation of prosody and intonation

Outline Of Syllabus

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

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
SEL2236It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation
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.

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 assessment is a student-led research project, allowing them to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills developed throughout the semester.

Reading Lists