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Advanced English Phonology

Code: 103987 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500245 English Studies OT 3 0
2500245 English Studies OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


María José Solé Sabater

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Course requirements

  • Having completed the following second-year courses: English Phonetics and Phonology 1 (segmental phonology) and English Phonetics and Phonology 2 (suprasegmental features).
  • The recommended level of English is  an Advanced  level of spoken and written English (between C1 and C2 of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment).

Objectives and Contextualisation

The course will consist of an introduction to the principles, methods and techniques of articulatory, acoustic and auditory phonetics which are the basis, or substance, of phonological facts. The acoustic-auditory cues used in English to signal sound contrasts and prosodic features will be described and analyzed and compared to those of Spanish and Catalan. The methodology of experimentation in phonetics and phonology will be presented.

Students will learn to:

  • to record, analyze and measure speech sounds instrumentally
  • to do acoustic analysis of  phonetic variation using Praat
  • to present experimental results
  • to describe and analyze the phonetics and prosody of English, Spanish and Catalan
  • to describe sound change, dialectal variation, language pathologies and rother related areas
  • to do phonetic transcription
  • to quantify the data and relate it to phonological questions
  • to interpret research papers
  • to describe phonetic or pronunciation errors in the speech of non-native English speakers, particularly whose first language is Spanish or Catalan. 


    English Studies
  • Describe synchronously the main grammar units, constructions and phenomena of the English language.
  • Develop critical thinking and reasoning and knowing how to communicate effectively both in your mother tongue and in other languages.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Using the acquired knowledge in order to solve problems related to any professional activity in the field of the English language, specially to the teaching.
  • Working in an autonomous and responsible way in a professional or research environment in English or other languages, in order to accomplish the previously set objectives.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Applying the acquired methodologies of work planning to work in an environment in the English language.
  2. Applying the acquired scientific and work planning methodologies to the research in English.
  3. Applying these instrumental techniques to the analysis of the phonetic phenomena that lay the foundation for the phonological facts of English.
  4. Carrying out the acoustic analysis of speech (sound waves, spectrograms, etc.), recognising and explaining the principles of acoustics intervening in the transmission of speech sounds), and recognising the acoustic correlation of production and perception.
  5. Characterising the sounds of English from an articulation, acoustic and auditory point of view.
  6. Communicating in the studied language in oral and written form, properly using vocabulary and grammar.
  7. Demonstrate a master of the specific methods of individual academic work that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  8. Describing the functioning of the muscular activity of breathing, phonation and articulation, as well as the aerodynamic principles intervening in the production of speech.
  9. Effectively communicating and applying the argumentative and textual processes to formal and scientific texts.
  10. Mastering the advanced knowledge and scientific methodologies related to linguistics, literature, history and culture that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  11. Relating the phonetic variation of English with the concept of phonological category.
  12. Students must be capable of comprehending advanced academic or professional texts in their own language or the another acquired in the degree.
  13. Students must be capable of precisely arguing ideas and opinions in their own language or another acquired in the degree.


  • Review of general and English phonetics. 
    • Speech production: The respiratory, phonatory and articulatory processes. The English sound system: phonemes and main allophonic variants. Techniques of articulatory analysis.
  • Introduction to acoustic phonetics.
    • The source-filter theory of speech production. Formants and harmonics. Waveform, spectral and spectrographic analysis. The acoustic characteristics of English vowels and consonants. The analysis of suprasegmentals. Spectrogram reading. Speech editing and synthesis.
  • Introduction to speech perception.
    • Auditory cues to identify English vowels and consonants. Invariance and variability. Categorical perception. Perceptual tasks. 
  •  Sound change. English dialectal variation in pronunciation.
  • Introduction to second language (L2) phonology.
    • Speech learning models. L2 error typology. Specific problems for Catalan/Spanish learners of English. 




Introduction of each topic by the teacher. Discussion of assigned readings. Methodological demonstrations. 

Practical exercises in class or as homework and completion of assignments (acoustic analysis of speech; quantification and relationship between phonetic and phonological categories; phonetic and phonological transcription; perceptual analysis of speech sounds; familiarization with the phonetic and phonological characteristics of second/foreign language speech).  


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 30 1.2 12, 9
Reading and practice exercises 20 0.8
Type: Supervised      
Group discussions 5 0.2 2, 9, 6
Individual assignments 20 0.8 2, 12, 10, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Individual study 30 1.2 1, 2
Reading and exercises 20 0.8 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 6



• Two written exams, middle and end of the semester (30% each).  A passing grade of 5 is required for the final average.

• Assignments (32%).

• Homework, class exercises and class participation (8%). 

Please, note:

  • All the subjects in this degree follow continuous assessment.
  • All the exams and assignments are compulsory.
  • Completing one exam and one assignment, or two assignments, excludes obtaining a “No avaluable” as final mark.
  • The minimum mark for an exercise or exam to be considered for the average final mark is 5.
  • The student’s command of English will be taken into account when marking all exercises and for the final mark.
  • Reviewing procedure: Students have a right to review their exercises with the teacher in a personal tutorial, on the set dates, never later than 2 weeks after the exercise/exam is marked, including re-assessment. The student loses this right if s/he fails to collect the exercise/exam within the period announced by the teacher.
  • In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Partial or total plagiarising will immediately result in a FAIL (0) for the plagiarised exercise (first-year subjects) or the WHOLE SUBJECT (second-, third- and fourth-year subjects). PLAGIARISING consists of copying text from unacknowledged sources –whether this is part of a sentence or a whole text– with the intention of passing it off as the student’s own production. It includes cutting and pasting from internet sources, presented unmodified in the student’s own text. Plagiarising is a SERIOUS OFFENCE. Students must respect authors’ intellectual property, always identifying the sources they may use; they must also be responsible for the originality and authenticity of their own texts.

Re-assessment conditions: Only students who have passed at least 60% of the course evaluation are eligible for reassessment, provided they have done all the assignments and exams. The maximum mark that can be assigned at reassessment is 5/10. The re-assessment dates are assigned by the university and will not be changed to suit individual students' needs. The on-going homework and in-class exercises cannot be reassessed.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
2 written tests 30% each 4 0.16 5, 12, 8, 9, 6
Homework and in-class exercises 7% 10 0.4 1, 2, 5
Individual assignments 33% 11 0.44 3, 13, 12, 10, 7, 9, 6, 4, 11


Main readings

Ladefoged, Peter. 2001. A Course in Phonetics (4th edition) New York: Hartcourt. (2005. 5thEd. Thomson/ Wadsworth Publishers / Ladefoged, Peter & Johnson, Keith. 2011. 6thedition. Cenage.) 

Rogers, Hank. 2000. The Sounds of Language. London: Longman. 


Further bibliography

Borden, Gloria .J., Harris, Katherine .S. & Raphael, Lawrence J. 1994. Speech Science Primer. Baltimore, London: Williams and Wilkins. 3rd edition. 

Clark, J. and Yallop, C. 1990. An introduction to phonetics and phonology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Gick, Bryan, Wilson, Ian & Derrick, Donald. 2013. Articulatory Phonetics. Wiley-Blackwell.  

Johnson, Keith. (1997). Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (2nd ed. 2002, 2rd ed. 2012). 

Kent, Raymond D. & Read, Charles. 2002. The Acoustic Analysis of Speech. Singular/Thomson Learning

Ladefoged, Peter. 2001. Vowels and Consonants. Oxford: Blackwell. (2nd ed. 2004) 

Ladefoged, Peter. 2003. Phonetic Data Analysis: An introduction to phonetic fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Wiley-Blackwell,

Strange, Winifred (Ed.). 1995. Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-language Research. York Press. 


Additional bibliography will be specified during the course.