This course explores two fundamental aspects of the sounds of human
languages: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and as part of a linguistic system (phonology). In viewing sounds as physical elements, the focus is articulatory descriptions: How are speech sounds made? What types of articulatory movements and configurations are used to differentiate sounds in the world's languages? In this part of the course, the goal is to learn to produce, transcribe, and describe in articulatory and acoustic terms many of the sounds known to occur in human languages. In the second part of the course, the focus is on sounds as members of a particular linguistic system.
Phonological data from various languages are analyzed — that is, regularities or patterns in sound distribution are extracted from the data set and then stated within a formal phonological framework.
Throughout the course, a major emphasis is that speech sounds are simultaneously physical and linguistic elements, and that these two aspects are interdependent.
Class sessions will consist of lectures, phonetic practice, and discussion of phonological data sets. Course grades will be based on assignments, a midterm exam, and a term project.