This course introduces students to the acoustic aspects of speech sounds. We will look at 1) the acoustic nature of different 'components' of speech: vowels, consonants, stress and prominence, tone and intonation, and voice quality; and 2) how the study of speech can be applied to various areas of inquiry such as speech perception and production, the learning of new sounds, sociophonetics, and forensic phonetics. Students will get hands-on experience with Praat, a free computer software package for the analysis of speech. Prior knowledge of phonetics will be helpful but not obligatory. Students with little background on the study of speech are encouraged to read the recommended introductory textbooks before the course starts.
The acoustic properties of various components of speech (e.g. vowels and consonants, stress and prominence, tone and intonation, and voice quality), speech perception and production, sociophonetics, second language speech learning, forensic phonetics
On successful completion of the course, students should be able to
1) understand key terms and issues in the study of speech acoustics;
2) analyse speech using the computer software Praat;
3) conduct a small-scale study in acoustic phonetics
A two-hour lecture and a one-hour practical class per week
- Weekly practical exercises (20%)
- Mid-term quiz (30%)
- Small-scale research paper (50%)
Di Paolo, M., Yaeger-Dror, M., & Wassink, A. (Eds). (2010). Sociophonetics: a student’s guide. London: Routledge.
Johnson, K. (2011). Acoustic and auditory phonetics. 3rd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
Additional readings will be recommended throughout the course.
Textbooks recommended for students who had no prior knowledge in phonetics:
- Cruttenden, A. (2014). Gimson's pronunciation of English. 8th Edition. Routledge.
- Roach, P. (2009). English phonetics and phonology: a practical course. 4th Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.