LING215-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015

The Sounds of Speech

15 points
23 Feb 2015 - 28 Jun 2015

Description

This course is about understanding the sounds of speech. In the first part of the course, we think carefully about how we produce sound, how we use our vocal apparatus to create different sounds and how these sounds combine in turn to form speech. In the second part, we learn about how we can measure and interpret changes in the air caused by speech. Finally, we explore connections to other areas of language study and we consider how knowledge of speech sounds could be applied in the real world context of forensic investigation.

We are linguistic animals and we communicate primarily using sound.  Speech is our most common form of communication; speech plays a huge role in our everyday lives.   This course is about understanding speech.  In the first part of the course, we think carefully about how we produce sound, how the various muscles we use combine in order to create different sounds and how these sounds combine in turn to form speech (i.e. articulatory phonetics).  When we produce speech, we make changes to the air molecules around us (this is what we ‘hear’) and so in tandem with exploring speech articulation, on this course we will also learn about how we can measure and interpret changes in the air caused by speech (i.e. acoustic phonetics).  Because speech plays such a large part in our lives, it is difficult to discuss the properties of speech in isolation and so in the second part of this course, we explore connections between phonetics and other areas of linguistics.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will:

Understand the central principles of acoustic and articulatory phonetics
Be familiar with using new types of software to analyse speech
Be able to transcribe speech in detail using the IPA

As a student in this course you will not only acquire subject specific skills, you will also acquire a number of transferrable skills.  For example, by the end of this course you will be able to...  

Read critically and objectively
Write a scientific report
Use computer tools to analyse language data
Meet deadlines
Work as part of a team

Pre-requisites

LING101 or LING111 or ENGL123 or ENGL112

Restrictions

Course Coordinator

Kevin Watson

Assessment

Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Class Test 30% During workshop in week 7
Take home tasks 30% Due in week 4 and week 6.
Final assignment 40% Due in week 12


Brief description of assessment items:
A class test will take place during the lecture slot at the mid point of the semester. This will be a short answer assessment testing your knowledge and understanding of the articulatory and acoustic properties of vowels and consonants of English (i.e. material covered in class between weeks1-6).  This will account for 30% of your coursework mark overall.

Towards the end of the semester, you will hand in a written assignment in which you will have the chance to conduct some basic phonetic analysis and/or discuss theoretical issues in some depth.  This will account for 40% of your coursework mark overall.

There will also be two takehome tasks, which will each give you the opportunity to develop the skills you will need for your essay. Each task is worth 15% of the course grade.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Ladefoged, Peter; Vowels and consonants; 2nd; MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005 (NOTE: not all of the course will follow the structure of these textbooks. You are therefore not required to buy a copy of these books. They can be accessed in the library from the short-loan section. Additional reading will be made available).

Ladefoged, Peter & Keith Johnson; A course in phonetics; 6th; Boston, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2010.

Course links

Library portal
The course outline is available on LEARN (only for students enrolled in this course).
LEARN

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $697.00

International fee $2,913.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All LING215 Occurrences

  • LING215-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015