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Spanish Phonetics and Phonology

Code: 100587 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504012 Spanish and Chinese Studies: Language, Literature and Culture OB 3 1
2504386 English and Spanish Studies OB 2 1
2504388 Catalan and Spanish Studies OB 3 1


Maria Jesus Machuca Ayuso

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Lourdes Aguilar Cuevas
Georgina Bargallo Osuna



Students must know the fundamentals and the methodological lines necessary to obtain a basic education in phonetics and phonology of the Spanish language.

They must know how to manage the bibliography and information, and interpret them critically.

They must be able to write correctly a scientific text.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The objective of this subject is to ensure that students become familiar with the basic notions of phonetics and phonology. Students must be able to describe the phonetic and phonological system of Spanish, which will give them the basics to be able to deepen these arguments in the subject Phonic Studies of Spanish. Perspectives and applications.


    Spanish and Chinese Studies: Language, Literature and Culture
  • Analyse the phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic properties of the Spanish language and the Mandarin Chinese language.
  • Describe the linguistic foundations on which the standards of Spanish and mandarin Chinese are based.
  • Make changes to methods and processes in the area of knowledge in order to provide innovative responses to society's needs and demands.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Use techniques for compilation, organisation and use of information and documentation with precision.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse linguistic structures in Spanish.
  2. Carry out predictions and inferences abut the content of a text.
  3. Construct texts according to the established rules.
  4. Describe and identify the phonetic and phonological system of the Spanish language.
  5. Identify errors of rules, style or argument in a text.
  6. Identify situations in which a change or improvement is needed.
  7. Use digital tools for collecting, classifying, interpreting and analysing relevant data.
  8. Use the adequate terminology in the construction of an academic text.
  9. Use the necessary resources, both digital and non-digital (data bases, text repositories, dictionaries, reference works), for the analysis of any document, spoken or written, from a linguistic point of view.


The subject is formed by 8 thematic blocks.

 1. Articulatory description of vowels and consonants

Articulatory parameters for the classification of the vowels: oral opening and tongue position. Articulatory parameters for the classification of consonants: mode of articulation, place of articulation and sonority.

 2. Acoustic description of vowels and consonants

Acoustic parameters for the classification of sounds: periodic and aperiodic sounds. Relationships between articulatory and acoustic characteristics.

 3. The phonetic transcription

The phonetic alphabets: the alphabet of the Journal of Spanish Philology (RFE) and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

 4. Prosodic phenomena

The accent. The intonation. Junctions and pauses.

 5. The phonological system of Spanish

From sound to phoneme. Phonemes and allophones. Contexts and distributions. Variation factors.

  6. The syllable

 The syllable as a phonological unit. Syllabic division and structure. Nucleus and margins. Vocalic and consonantic groups.

 7. Phonological processes of Spanish

The sounds in contact. The representation of the phonological processes of Spanish.

 8. Phonological processes of Spanish

The sounds in contact. The representation of the phonological processes of Spanish.



The learning of this subject by the student is distributed as follows:

(1) 35% of guided activities
These guided activities must respect the established time schedule in the previous section. Moreover, it has to be done under the face-to-face supervision of a teacher. Additionally,  it must be taken into account that these activities are distributed in theoretical classes (17.5%) and discussion on different types of documents (17.5%).

(2) 10% Supervised activity

Supervised activity (10%) is programmed by the teacher so that students work autonomously, supervised by the teacher though. These activities can be carried out during the assigned practice hours of the subject, or the teaching staff may propose exercises to be performed outside the classroom.

(3) 50% Autonomous activities

In these activities the hours of study and the preparation of evaluable tests should be taken into account. These activities must be done by the student autonomously. The students will dedicate about totally 75 hours to these activities. Autonomous activities are consisted of assessment tests which will take place in class.

(4) 5% Evaluation activities

The teacher will carry out a continuous assessment on this subject through the three previously mentioned exercises. Additionally, the students have to do a written test. In this test, the use of written language in the proper context will also be assessed, since this subject corresponds to the field "Spanish language".



Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Master classes 26.5 1.06 4
Resolution of exercises 26 1.04 4, 7, 6, 9
Type: Supervised      
Preparation of evaluation activities 5 0.2 4, 7, 9
Supervision and review of exercises 10 0.4 4, 7, 6, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Extension of knowledge 15 0.6 4, 7, 6, 9
Preparation of exercises 15 0.6 4, 7, 6, 9
Preparation of reading comprehension activities 15 0.6 4, 7, 9
Preparation of written production activities 15 0.6 4, 7, 9
Search for bibliographical references 15 0.6 4, 7, 9



Students must participate in all evaluation activities.

  • Phonetic transcription test of a file audio, analysis of the speaker articulations (10%)
  • Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonetics: Practice (25%) and Theory (20%)
  • Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonology: Practice (25%) and Theory (20%)

To pass the subject, the final grade must be at least a 5, once the percentages have been applied.

A "non-evaluable" will be assigned when the provided evaluation evidence corresponds to a maximum of one-fourth of the total grade of the subject.

After submitting each assessment activity, the teacher will inform the students (via Moodle) of the review procedure and date of grading.

Recovery. Missed or failed activities

Students who have participated in activities that account for 70% or more of the final grade and have obtained an average mark of 3.5 or higher may access the reassessment process.

This test will consist of an additional exam during the designated reassessment period set by the Faculty, following the guidelines presented in this section.

Students who take the reassessment exam and pass it will receive a final grade of 5.

There will be no additional exams to increase the final mark of the subject.

Irregularities in assessment activities

If a student engages in any irregularities that could significantly affect the grading of an evaluation activity, that activity will be assigned a grade of 0, regardless of any disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated. If multiple irregularities occur in the evaluation activities of the same subject, the final grade for that subject will be 0.

Single Assessment

In the case that students choose the single assessment, they will have to take the following tests (the date will be indicated in Moodle)

  • Phonetic transcription test of a file audio, analysis of the speaker articulations (10%)
  • Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonetics: Practice (25%) and Theory (20%)
  • Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonology: Practice (25%) and Theory (20%)

The same assessment method as continuous assessment will be used

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Phonetic transcription test of a file audio, analysis of the speaker articulations 10% 2.5 0.1 4, 7, 6, 9
Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonetics: Practice and Theory 25%+20% 2.5 0.1 1, 3, 4, 8, 7, 5, 2, 9
Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonology: Practice and Theory 25%+20% 2.5 0.1 1, 3, 4, 8, 7, 5, 2, 9


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