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

Undergraduate Course: LEL2B: Phonetic Analysis and Empirical Methods (LASC08018)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the empirical study of language via systematic perception and classification, corpus analysis, and experimentation. The course demonstrates what can be done with these techniques and gives students the opportunity to conduct original research. The semester is comprised of the following subsections:
1.Acoustic phonetics
a.7 lectures, 4 tutorials & 2 practicals
2.Connected speech
a.6 lectures/demonstrations
3.Ear training
a.10 plenary demonstration sessions
4.Empirical methods
a.9 lectures, 4 tutorials, 5 workshops w/o tutors & 4 workshops w/ tutors
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Linguistics and English Language 1A (LASC08022) AND Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023) OR Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science (INFR08020)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 1 introductory level Language Science course at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses. Relevant courses will be courses in Linguistics as an academic discipline. Courses that describe aspects of a given language as part of a Modern Foreign Languages degree will typically not provide students with an adequate background.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 32, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 13, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20%: A class test on transcribing sounds of the world's languages, held in the regular class period on Monday of Week 3.

35%: A phonetics project, involving transcription of connected speech, alignment of the transcription with spectrographic records, and short answer questions relating to acoustic phonetics and connected speech, due on Wednesday of Week 7.

35%: An empirical methods project on the pattern of language use in a social context, assessed via a research report due on Monday during the revision week.

8%: Attendance in tutorials during the empirical methods section.

2%: Research Participation: 2 hours of research participation are also required, either via experiment participation or attendance at (and 300 word writeup of) a research meeting (e.g. Linguistic Circle talk, Language Variation and Change reading group, etc.). Each hour of research participation is worth 1%. The deadline for submitting a research group write up will be no later than Monday of Revision week, so as not to interfere with exam preparation for other courses.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Resit Exam Diet (August)Phonetic Analysis Resit1:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Connected Speech and Empirical Methods re-sit3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. interpret instrumental records of speech, especially spectrograms, and understand the elements of acoustic theory as it applies to the analysis of speech
  2. understand how speech sounds vary in connected speech and use basic acoustic analysis software such as Praat
  3. recognise a wide range of sound types used in human languages and to acquire basic skills in phonetic transcription
  4. think quantitatively about language and formulate hypotheses about various aspects of language behaviour
  5. think clearly about the kinds of data required for testing such hypotheses
Reading List
Catford, J.C. (1988). A Practical Introduction to Phonetics. Oxford University Press.
Thomas, Erik R. (2011). Sociophonetics: An introduction. Palgrave Macmillian
Kiesling, S. F. 2011. Linguistic Variation and Change. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Ladefoged, P. and Maddieson, I. (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Blackwell.
Meyerhoff, M. 2006. Introducing Sociolinguistics. London: Routledge.
Ogden, R. (2009). An Introduction to English Phonetics. Edinburgh University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Josef Fruehwald
Tel: (0131 6)50 3983
Course secretaryMs Susan Hermiston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440
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