SEL8154 : Issues in Phonological Theory I

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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. Students will investigate a number of phonological models, including both derivational and optimality theoretic, in order to come to an understanding of how evidence and argumentation are used in phonological theory building. Moreover, the student will be encouraged to apply this knowledge to analyses of some language – typically something other than English.

Outline Of Syllabus

1: Review of phonetics and phonology
2: Distinctive Features/Feature Geometry
3: Phonological structure: the syllable
4: Prosodic structure above the syllable
5: Autosegmental phonology
6: Metrical phonology
7: Derivational phonology, rules and rule ordering
8: Problems with derivational phonology
9: Optimality theory, constraints and constraint interaction
10: Problems with optimality theory

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1170:00170:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1004,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment by essay and data analysis allows the student the scope to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired by applying that knowledge to a language they are familiar with (other than English). This also gives the student the flexibility to focus on a particular aspect of the phonology of that language in which they are interested.

Reading Lists