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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Phonetics and Laboratory Phonology MSc (20 Credits) (LASC11137)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe general area of this course is the relation between phonology (i.e., the system of sound contrasts, as well as their ordering, groupings, and relative prominence within a planned utterance), and phonetics (the realization of utterances in articulation and acoustics). We show that a great deal of phonetic variability can be explained through an understanding of phonological structure, and that phonological questions can be answered using phonetic data. We explore these issues through topics such as: a) the phonetic realization of prosodic structure and suprasegmental contrasts, b) categorical vs. gradient assimilation processes.
Course description The goal is not just to offer insight in this topic area, but also to equip students with the skills and expertise to carry out research independently, for example in an MSc dissertation project.

In the MSc Introduction to Phonology & Phonetics course, students have learned about acoustic representations, and gotten a first experience with making measurements on these. That basic level expertise forms the foundation of the practical component of Phonetics & Laboratory Phonology, where it will be developed in a number of ways. Students will explore issues of experimental design, they will make their own recordings, process them using Praat software, and learn to automate acoustic measurements, in part or in full, depending on the nature of the measurement. In the process, they will learn how to script within the Praat software environment. For many this will be their first experience with programming.

The course includes lectures, lab practicals, and readings.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Weekly reading reports (5%)

Students will receive 5% of their mark for the completion of weekly reading reports

Lab Reports (30%)

Students will take part in 3 practicals and submit 3 lab reports based on these practicals which reflect a student's practice and highlight challenges encountered during the process (approx 600 words each). Only the best two of the three lab reports will count towards the mark.

Project (65%)
Students will take part in, and write up, a laboratory experiment designed to show phonetic effects of either prosodic structure or segmental context on phonetic parameters such as duration, fundamental frequency and formant frequencies (approx. 3500 words).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the relation between phonetics and phonology, and be able to engage critically with research articles in this area
  2. understand how to use instrumental data to answer research questions in phonology and phonetics, and understand the pitfalls of phonetic transcription
  3. make a sound recording and process it for acoustic analysis
  4. create, modify, and use scripts to automate the analysis of several acoustic features, including duration, F0, spectral balance, and formant frequencies
  5. interpret articulatory records of speech, and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of articulatory vs. acoustic methods for answering research questions in phonology and phonetics
Reading List
Current and classic research articles in prosodic theory, experimental phonetics, and laboratory phonology.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The knowledge gained in this course will enable students to conduct their own research projects in phonetics, and form the foundation for more specialized professional training in speech technology, speech therapy, and forensic phonetics.

Transferable skills include skills relating to summarising research articles, project design, scripting, and writing.
Keywordsphonetics,prosody,laboratory phonology,phonetic measurement,phonetic analysis
Course organiserProf Alice Turk
Tel: (0131 6)50 3483
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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