LING307-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019

Topics in Phonetics and Phonology

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 February 2019
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 1 March 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 10 May 2019


This course follows on from second-year phonetics and phonology, covering selected advanced topics and current research in phonetics and phonological theory.

This course builds on second-year work to broaden and deepen your understanding of how humans communicate using sound. The aim is to learn new things about spoken communication while asking ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ a lot, and developing your research skills, following your own interests whenever possible. We will start with speech perception, beginning with a brief historical overview of the most influential work since the 1950s, and then discussing topics that together give you the means to think about how humans understand speech. These include pattern perception, processes of adaptation and learning that allow you to accommodate to unfamiliar accents and individuals, and how to model these processes. Later topics will be chosen to reflect interests in the group. They may include speech production and how it relates to the acoustic properties of speech and singing (including voice quality/vocal timbre), exploring how speech and movement work together in conversation, and a range of practical and theoretical challenges in acoustic phonetics and speech synthesis, relevant to theoretical understanding, hypothesis development, and experimental design.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will have
1. strengthened your conceptual and practical skills for the analysis of spoken language
2. applied theory to practical tasks, and interpreted practice and data in terms of theory
3. developed conceptual tools and background knowledge required to understand developments in the speech sciences, including appreciation of the range of sources of evidence and the multiple levels of theoretical analysis
4. taken a research issue from concept to hypothesis to experimental design, and/or demonstrated understanding of these issues by critically reviewing relevant literature, thereby strengthening your skills of scientific reasoning, research and reporting; this is useful not only to specialists in the speech sciences and related disciplines and professions, but also to graduates who proceed to other professions
5. written a research report and given illustrated oral presentations about it.


LING201 or
LING207 or
LING211 or
LING215 or


LING301, LING311


Sarah Hawkins


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Take-home lab reports 30% Best of 2 out of 2 or 3.
Research oral report plan 10% Week 6
Research oral report 20% Week 11
Research paper (project) 40% Week 12

You should expect to write up two short lab reports for assessment. Feedback will be given for the first two. If you would like to achieve a better mark, you may, with permission, submit a third report: the best two marks will each contribute 15% to your final grade.

You are also expected to carry out a more sustained piece of research, or project. This can be experimental, where you make stimuli and collect some data, or analytical, in which you make new measurements on existing data, or you could do a more theoretical type of meta-analysis from a literature review. The aim is to allow you to deepen your thinking in your chosen area, and to develop a range of logical and practical skills concerning scientific thinking and its clear communication to others. This experience is intended to be fun and interesting in its own right. In addition, it should provide you with useful transferrable skills relevant to your future professional and personal life. Your project will be assessed in three ways: a written report describing the research you have carried out, normally following standard format for presenting experimental research; and two short oral presentations: in the first of these you present your research plans and will receive feedback and suggestions; the second presents your main findings. Each should be given using powerpoint or equivalent (or possibly a handout). The written report is worth 40% of the course grade and is due at the end of the semester. The oral report plan is worth 10% of the course grade and is given in week 6; the final oral presentation is worth 20% of the course grade and takes place in week 11.

There is no final exam for LING307.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no required textbook for this course. Most reading material will be from journals. It will be recommended on separate handouts, and some will be available in electronic form via Learn.

To access the Learn page for the course, go to, and log in with your usual UC username and password. You will see a menu of the courses you are enrolled in.

Course links

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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,523.00

International fee $6,375.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All LING307 Occurrences

  • LING307-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019