Logo UAB

Spanish Phonetics and Phonology

Code: 106367 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504211 Spanish Language and Literature OB 2 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


The students must have a strong command of the Spanish language in order to independently make linguistic decisions in the study and analysis of Spanish sounds. Additionally, the students should possess the skills to effectively manage and critically interpret bibliographic sources and information. Furthermore, they should be capable of delivering oral presentations and producing well-written scientific texts in Spanish.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The aim of this subject is to familiarize students with the basic concepts of phonetics and phonology applied to the study of Spanish. The goal is for students to be able to describe the phonetic and phonological system of Spanish, which will provide them with the foundations to delve deeper into these subjects in advanced courses. It also aims to foster vocations for scientific study of language in the field of master's and doctoral studies (forensic phonetics, speech and language technologies, digital humanities).


  • Analyse the main phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic properties of the Spanish language, its evolution throughout history and its current structure.
  • Develop arguments applicable to the fields of Hispanic literature, literary theory, Spanish language and linguistics, and evaluate their academic relevance.
  • Introduce changes in the methods and processes of the field of knowledge to provide innovative responses to the needs and demands of society.
  • Students can apply the knowledge to their own work or vocation in a professional manner and have the powers generally demonstrated by preparing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Use digital tools and specific documentary sources to gather and organise information.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire in-depth phonetic knowledge so that it can be applied to other interdisciplinary fields.
  2. Characterise linguistic phenomena taking into account the different levels of analysis.
  3. Describe the phonological system of Spanish on the basis of the distribution, relationships and articulatory and acoustic properties of its elements.
  4. Identify and describe the syntactic constructions of Spanish.
  5. Identify the constituents of a word and the levels at which they operate.
  6. Justify by means of appropriate terminology the analysis of data from a linguistic point of view.
  7. Make linguistic predictions and inferences about the content of a text.
  8. Propose new ways of measuring success or failure in the implementation of proposals or innovative ideas.
  9. Recognise acoustically and articulately the sounds and prosody of Spanish.
  10. Recognise the links between compositional semantics and other disciplines, both linguistic (syntax, lexicology, pragmatics) and non-linguistic (philosophy, logic, mathematics).
  11. Use digital tools to obtain, classify, interpret and analyse relevant data related to the study of Spanish language and literature.
  12. Use the appropriate terminology in the construction of an academic text and in the transmission of their knowledge.
  13. Use traditional sources to obtain, classify, interpret and analyse relevant data related to the study of Spanish language and literature.


The subject is composed of the following thematic blocks:

  1. Articulatory description of vowels and consonants. Articulatory parameters for the classification of vowels and consonants.

  2. Acoustic description of vowels and consonants. Acoustic parameters for the classification of sounds. Relationships between articulatory and acoustic characteristics.

  3. Phonetic transcription. Phonetic alphabets: the alphabet of the Revista de Filología Española (RFE) and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

  4. Prosodic phenomena. Stress. Intonation. Pauses.

  5. The phonological system of Spanish. From sound to phoneme. Phonemes and allophones. Contexts and distributions. Factors of variation.

  6. Characterization of Spanish phonemes through distinctive features. Physical description and distinctive features. Types of feature systems and their application to Spanish.

  7. The syllable. The syllable as a phonological unit. Syllable division and structure. Vowel and consonant groups.

  8. Phonological processes in Spanish. Sounds in contact. Representation of phonological processes in 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 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 considered in the 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: synchrony ".

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 3, 9
Resolution of exercises 26 1.04 2, 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 6, 8, 9
Type: Supervised      
Preparation of evaluation activities 5 0.2 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 9
Supervision and review of exercises 10 0.4 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 8, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Extension of knowledge 15 0.6 1, 2, 3, 7, 11, 13, 8, 9
Preparation of exercises 15 0.6 2, 3, 7, 11, 13, 6, 9
Preparation of reading comprehension activities 15 0.6 3, 7, 11, 13, 9
Preparation of written production activities 15 0.6 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 6, 9
Search for bibliographical references 15 0.6 3, 11, 13, 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 1, 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 6, 8, 9
Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonology: Practice and Theory 25%+20% 2.5 0.1 1, 2, 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 5, 4, 6, 9, 10
Written test of the theoretical contents about Phonetics: Practice and Theory 25%+20% 2.5 0.1 1, 2, 3, 7, 12, 11, 13, 5, 4, 6, 9, 10


ALCOBA, Santiago – MURILLO, Julio (1998). “Intonation in Spanish”, en Daniel Hirst y Albert di Cristo (Eds.), Intonation Systems, A Survey of Twenty Languages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 152-166.

CANELLADA, María Josefa - MADSEN, John Kulhmann (1987). Pronunciación del español. Lengua hablada y literaria. Madrid: Castalia.

COLINA, Sonia - Fernando MARTÍNEZ-GIL (eds) (2019), The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Phonology, Routledge, London.

CHOMSKY, Noam - HALLE, Morris (1968). The Sound Pattern of English. New York: Harper & Row. Trad cast de José Antonio Millán: Principios de fonología generativa. Madrid: Fundamentos, 1979.

DE-LA-MOTA, Carme – RÍOS, Antonio (1993). “Problemas en torno a la transcripción fonética del español: los alfabetos fonéticos propuestos por IPA y REFE y su aplicación a un sistema automático”, Actas Universitatis Wratislaviensis, 1660, EstudiosHispánicos, IV, 1995, pp. 97-109.

D'INTRONO, Francesco - DEL TESO, Enrique - WESTON, Rosemary (1995). Fonética y fonología actual del español. Madrid, Cátedra.

FACE, Timothy (2008) Guide to the Phonetic Symbols of Spanish, Sommerville, Cascadilla Press.

FERNÁNDEZ PLANAS, Ana María (2005) Así se habla. Nociones fundamentales de fonética general y española, Horsori, 2005, 2ª ed.2011

GIL FERNÁNDEZ, Juana (1988). Los sonidos del lenguaje. Madrid: Ed. Síntesis.

GIL FERNÁNDEZ, Juana (2007). Fonética para profesores de español de la teoría a la práctica. Madrid: Arco Libros.

GIL FERNÁNDEZ, Juana (2016). "Fonética". En J. Gutiérrez-Rexach (ed.), Enciclopedia de lingüística hispánica, vol. 1. Londres-Nueva York: Routledge, pp. 64-80.

HARRIS, James Wesley (1969). Spanish Phonology. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Trad cast de Aurelio Valverde: Fonología generativa del español. Barcelona: Planeta, 1975.

HARRIS, James Wesley (1983). Syllable Structure and Stress in Spanish. A Nonlinear Analysis. Cambridge: MIT Press. Trad. cast. de Olga Fernández Soriano: La estructura silábica y el acento en español. Visor, 1991.

HIDALGO, Antonio - QUILIS, Mercedes (2004). Fonética y Fonología Españolas. Valencia: Tirant lo Blanch, 2ª ed. corr. y aum.

HUALDE, José Ignacio (2014) Los sonidos del español, Cambridge University Press

IRIBARREN, Mary C. (2005). Fonética y Fonología Españolas. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis.

KATZ, W.F. and P. F. ASSMANN (2019) The Routledge Handbook of Phonetics, Routledge, London.

LLISTERRI, Joaquim (1996). "Los sonidos del habla",en Martín Vide (ed.) Elementos de Lingüística. Barcelona: Octaedro Universidad.

MARTÍNEZ CELDRÁN, Eugenio - FERNÁNDEZ PLANAS, Ana María (2007). Manual de fonética española. Articulaciones y sonidos del español. Barcelona: Ariel.

NAVARRO TOMÁS, Tomás (1918). Manual de pronunciación española. CSIC: Madrid. 21ª edición, 1982.

NAVARRO TOMAS, Tomás (1945). Manual de entonación española. New York: Hispanic Institute. 4ª edición: Madrid: Guadarrama (Punto Omega, 175), 1974.

OBEDIENTE, Enrique (2007). Fonética y fonologia (3a ed.). Mérida: Consejo de Publicaciones, Facultad de Humanidades y Educación, Universidad de Mérida. (Primera edición: 1998).

PENAS IBÁÑEZ, María Azucena (2014). Panorama de la fonética española. Madrid: Arco-Libros.

QUILIS, Antonio (1981). Fonética acústica de la lengua española. Madrid: Gredos (Biblioteca Románica Hispánica, Manuales, 49).

QUILIS, Antonio (1993). Tratado de fonología y fonética españolas. Madrid: Gredos (Biblioteca Románica Hispánica, Manuales, 74).

REAL ACADEMIA ESPAÑOLA (2011). Nueva Gramática de la Lengua Española: Fonética y Fonología y el DVD Las voces del español: tiempo y espacio, Madrid: Espasa.

SOSA, Juan M. (1999) La entonación del español. Su estructura fónica, variabilidad y dialectología, Madrid, Cátedra.