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SEL2000 : Phonological Theory

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gary Taylor-Raebel
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


A course in intermediate phonology, this module builds on the foundations laid in SEL1027 and SEL1028, introducing theoretical models of phonology. 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

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: Optimality theory, constraints and constraint interaction
9: More Optimality Theory
10: Constraining the model: residual issues

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical61:006:00Fortnightly data analysis session, consolidating understanding through step-by-step analysis
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Fortnightly seminars dealing with specific issues introduced in the lectures.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00inc. 10 hours directed groupwork
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8154Issues in Phonological Theory I
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to knowledge outcomes. Fortnightly seminars develop this knowledge as well as the skills necessary for phonological analysis. Fortnightly data analysis sessions 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.

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 phonological analysis problem handed in within 48 hours
Essay1A80The assessment will consist of a 2000-word essay + a phonological analysis exercise.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

The final assessment by essay + 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.

Reading Lists