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SPE2052 : Linguistics and Phonetics II

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Riches
  • Lecturer: Dr Cong Zhang, Dr Fiona Menger, Mrs Sarah Barnett, Dr Janet Webster, Professor Ghada Khattab
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


The linguistics component of the module builds on stage one work on syntax and semantics by introducing students to using linguistic analysis as a clinical tool. This module covers discourse and pragmatics and issues around bilingualism.
The main aims are:
1. To gain an understanding of pragmatics and the use of language in context.
2. To gain an understanding of (a) linguistic devices with a discourse function, and (b) cognitive processes involved in interpreting discourse
3. To present a survey of selected clinical linguistic analyses that may be used to assess children and adults with speech and language disorders. Social factors that pose challenges to these analyses are discussed.
4. To explore the uses of linguistic analysis procedures introduced under (2) in clinical practice, and gain practice through practical workshops.
5. To introduce students to sociolinguistics and dialectal variation.
6. To introduce unique aspects of bilingual linguistic development
7. To introduce the sociolinguistic issues around managing individual bilingual cases.
8. To introduce the methods of assessing and intervening with bilingual speakers.
9. To introduce personal cultural competence and wider legal responsibilities of speech and language therapy services in relation to multilingual clients.
10. To introduce various types of complex sentences and their role in language development and developmental disorders.
11. To introduce theories of lexical and morphological representation
12. To introduce theoretical frameworks in linguistics, e.g. generative versus constructivist accounts, and how they relate to clinical practice.

The phonetics component of this module serves as a foundation in instrumental, acoustic and advanced articulatory phonetics. The main aims are:
12. To further develop an understanding of articulatory phonetics and listening and transcription skills, building on what the students will have covered in year one.
13. To introduce the students to Acoustic Phonetics, the branch of phonetics that deals with the properties of sound waves.
14. Building upon theoretical foundations in speech production and perception, to enable students to use instrumental techniques for speech analysis, including clinical analysis of speech. The focus will be on spectrography since this is by far the most widely-used and versatile method.

In relation to HCPC Standards of Proficiency, this module addresses aspects of the following standards but is not the only module to do so:
5.0 be aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice
and its components 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6
6. understand the importance of and maintain confidentiality
and its component 6.4 Understand the need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support (such as interpreters or translators)
7.0 To be able to communicate effectively
and its components 7.3, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7
12.0 understand the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to their profession
and its components 12.5, 12.7, 12.10 and 12.13
13.0 Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice
and its components 13.13, 13.14, 13.20

Outline Of Syllabus

The discourse and pragmatics component covers the following topics
1. Syntactic structures with a discourse function
2. Meaning in context
3. Cohesion and coherence
4. Discourse processing
5. Speech acts and intentional communication
6. Discourse and exchanges
7. Inference, Gricean pragmatics and Relevance Theory

In addition, the clinical linguistic component, introduces the students to:
8. Collecting speech/language samples from children and adults
9. Issues around analysis of speech, including sociolinguistic aspects.
10. Analysis of sentence semantics
11. Lexical analysis
12. Grammatical analysis

The bilingualism component, allows students to gain in depth knowledge of the:
13. Bilingual populations
14. Bilingual language acquisition
15. Code-switching
16. Working with languages (and cultures) other than English
17. The EAL experience including service user Involvement (see below)
18. Clinical management of bilingual clients including the issue of cultural competence

And finally, the phonetics component, introduces the students to instrumental techniques and covers:
16. Introduction into instrumental and acoustic phonetics
17. Sound and sound waves
18. Source and filter theory of speech production
19. Introduction to the software Praat that will be used for instrumental analyses of speech
20. Acoustic properties of sounds
21. Connected speech processes
22. Acoustic analysis in the assessment of consonants
23. Phonological assessment of vowels (bearing in mind dialectal differences)
24. Phonological assessment of prosody
25. Auditory phonetics and perception of speech
26. Acoustic analyses in the assessment of voice disorder
27. Phonological theory and application in an SLT context

Service user involvement will include contributions from multilingual client(s) and/or their families to understand:

-       multi-lingual service user’s perspectives on their (or their family member’s) communication, disability, experiences of speech and language therapy and of wider services
-       how issues of multilingualism and cultural diversity should be accommodated in order to work effectively as speech and language therapist

In relation to the RCSLT Currciulum guidance, this module focuses on section 4.4.1, phonetics and clinical applications, general linguistics and clinical applications, psycholinguistics, conversation and discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and multilingualism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion581:0058:00Phonetics Assessment Preparation and Completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00Linguistic lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00Phonetic Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Linguistics Assessment Preparation and Completion.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00Linguistic Practicals
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical101:0010:00Phonetics - Lab sessions, to allow in-depth practice instrumental techniques of speech sounds
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Phonetics - small group teaching
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1041:00104:00Linguistics Independent Study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1401:00140:00Phonetics Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge outcomes are addressed through lectures to introduce concepts, plus guided reading to allow students to follow these up in more depth.

Skills outcomes for clinical linguistic analysis are further aided by a series of one hour workshops, each addressing a different analysis procedure. Students work on data and are given an answer key after they have completed this so that they can self-assess. The formative assignment provides an opportunity to apply and practise these skills with a client that they see on their semester 2 clinical placement.

Skills outcomes for bilingualism are further addressed in session with a clinician who is an expert in working with bilingual children with communication problems.

For Phonetics, small group tutorials are used to enable intensive practice in practical phonetic skills.

Lab practicals are used to familiarise the students with the use of instrumental analysis techniques.

The session in year 3 induction synthesises and applies learning from this module with learning from SPE2054 speech language pathology II: cases and SPE2051 clinical and professional education II. Students are supported to consider how to apply and modify this learning when working with clients and families from multilingual backgrounds with respect to: assessing and delivering interventions in non-majority languages; broader case management considerations; and issues of cultural competence. The timing has the additional benefit of preparing students for working with multi-lingual clients prior to their placements in external organisations.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination302A13Phonetic component 1 - Dictation
Oral Examination102A12Phonetics component 2 - - oral
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A25Pragmatics essay, 1500 words
Essay2A25Bilingualism essay, 2000 words
Written exercise1M25Phonetic component 3 - individual project (2000 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Lab exercise1MFormative, spectrogram segmentation of analyses.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

All essential components of this module are to be passed to allow for progression.

Pragmatics essay: assesses knowledge outcomes for this part of the module

Bilingualism essay: assesses knowledge outcomes and also skills outcomes around client management (involves a
hypothetical clinical case)

The phonetics project requires students to use their knowledge of articulatory and acoustic properties of speech to perform a spectrogram segmentation while taking into account linguistics and social variability in speech.

The phonetics transcription test (digital exam) assesses students' abilities to transcribe speech accurately using the IPA conventions

The phonetics oral transcription test assesses the students’ abilities to produce the sounds of the IPA.

Reading Lists