Naomi Nagy

Linguistics at U of T

Ling 793: Phonetics and Phonology (at UNH)
Course Description

Syllabus | Reading | How the course works | Grading

Students model a word with CV syllable structure

We will explore two related fields: phonetics and phonology. Phonetics involves the description of sounds of the world's languages from articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual perspectives. We will look at sound systems of many languages and use lab instruments (mostly Praat) to assist us. Phonology examines the way sounds are grouped together into systems in particular languages. We will look at different types of structural descriptions, rules, and constraints that have been proposed to account for the patterns which are found across many languages. We will also look at ways that knowledge of phonetics and phonology can be applied to other fields.

How the course works

This course involves a lot of hands-on looking at and listening to language. It also involves learning to think about language in a new way-- analytically. A big part of what you learn is the process of thinking like a phonetician and a phonologist.

You are expected to attend all lectures, as material will be covered that is not in the reading. Participation in class discussions, including asking questions, and helping to anwer others' questions, will help you (and me) evaluate your understanding of the material. Daily homework will help you digest new concepts and see how they are applied. Phonetic concepts will be explored using lab instruments and some fun software called Sounds of the World's Languages. You should prepare for the labs by reading the instructions thorougly ahead of time. Each student will (co-)present one of the research articles listed in the syllabus. There will be 2 exams to evaluate your comprehension of the major issues covered in class and your ability to analyze data. You will write a research paper in which you synthesize several topics from this course.

Please feel free to contact me outside of class any time there is something you want to discuss or if there is anything you don't understand. If you will miss class, arrange to get lecture notes from another student. You are still responsible for turning assignments in on time.

Grading Policy

Daily homework 30% Tests (2) 20%
Participation & attendance 15% Paper (1) 30%
    Presentation 5%


Updated March 24, 2009

email: naomi dot nagy at utoronto dot ca | Return to my home page