Skip to main content


SEL2000 : Phonological Theory

  • 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 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


A course in intermediate phonetics and phonology, this module builds on the foundations laid in SEL1027, introducing theoretical models of phonetics and phonology. The aim is for students to investigate a number of phonetic and 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 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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion167:0067:00Completion of assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00Reading set texts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice130:0030:00Practice problem sets from texts and other online resources
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00General reading and revision
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8154Issues in Phonological Theory I
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to knowledge outcomes. Weekly seminars develop this knowledge as well as the skills necessary for phonological analysis, and 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 data analysis problem set
Essay1A802000-word essay
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.

Reading Lists