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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 first half of the course concentrates on Phonetic Analysis, and the second half of the course concentrates on Empirical Methods.
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 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 35, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assignment 1, worth 20%
Assignment 2, worth 35%
Assignment 3, worth 35%
Engagement with tutorial exercises, worth 5%
Research participation worth 5%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
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
Abbott, B. (2006). Definite and indefinite. In Keith Brown, ed., Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed., vol. 3. Oxford: Elsevier, 392-399.

Galati, A., & Brennan, S. E. (2010). Attenuating information in spoken communication: For the speaker, or for the addressee? Journal of Memory and Language, 62, 35-51.

Garnham, A. & Cowles, H. W. (2006). Reference: Psycholinguistic Approach. In Keith Brown, ed., Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed., vol. 10. Oxford: Elsevier, 427-433.

Gundel, J. K, Hedberg, N. & Zacharski, R. (1993). Cognitive Status and the form of referring expressions in discourse. Language, 69(2), 274-307.

Kahn, J. & Arnold, J.E. (2012). A Processing-Centered Look at the Contribution of Givenness to Durational Reduction. Journal of Memory and Language, 67, 311-325.

Ladefoged, P., & Johnson, K. (2014). A course in phonetics. Nelson Education.

Turk, A., Nakai, S., & Sugahara, M. (2006). Acoustic segment durations in prosodic research: a practical guide. In Stefan Sudhoff et al, ed., Methods in Empirical Prosody Research. Mouton de Gruyter, 1-28.

Matthews, D., Lieven, E., Theakston, A., & Tomasello, M. (2006). The effect of perceptual availability and prior discourse on young children's use of referring expressions. Applied Psycholinguistics, 27(3), 403-422.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills From the empirical methods side of the course, students will learn about different ways to analyse linguistic data, and they will need to use this in their assessments - critically analysing the literature to judge their validity. In the part of the course focusing on phonetics, students will develop their ability to identify, produce, and transcribe a wide range of the sounds in the world¿s languages, and to assess the acoustic properties of speech sounds using several instrumental records. They will also develop an understanding of systematic variability of speech sounds in a variety of contexts, and will learn how to use transcription to indicate similarities and differences among (categories of) sounds. In the lab reports, students will develop their written communication skills, and learn how to adapt their writing style to the structure of a report. Students will need to be respectful of other languages and cultures as they explore phonological concepts from across the world. Students will also learn how to use and analyse data which comes in different formats than what they might be used to. Students learn a key skill in how to use excel (inputting data, creating graphs, complete statistical tests), and use it to analyse the data they¿ve received.

Core skills gained on this course:
Data collection, data analysis, excel skills, using software, cultural sensitivity, clear written communication, report writing, problem solving, trying new techniques, critical analysis, considering alternate perspectives, initiative, independence, research skills, being open-minded.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Hannah Rohde
Tel: (0131 6)50 6802
Course secretaryMiss Kayla Johnson-McCraw
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440
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