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Linguistics 3B: The Phonology of English


Admission requirements

Students have taken and passed a full BA-course on articulatory phonetics (e.g., Linguistics 2A ”The Phonetics of English”). We will assume familiarity with phonetic terminology and phonemic transcriptions.


The Linguistics 3B course “The Phonology of English” is concerned with the relationship between phonetic and phonological structure in English, building on the material considered in Linguistics 1 and Linguistics 2.
The focus of the course will be on the internal structure of speech sounds, on the phonological organisation of these sounds into syllables and on the relationship between phonology and the structure of morphologically complex words.
Each week, the lecture introduces phonological concepts and terminology that will be applied to the phonological processes and problem solving exercises that will be dicussed in the tutorial. As a preparation for each lecture and tutorial, you read one or more book chapters and you prepare exercises or short assignments at home.

Course objectives

  • The first objective of the course is to introduce the general terminology and principles of phonological theory. You will read one or more chapters of the course book each week and do exercises in those chapters to familiarize yourself with phonological terminology and to practice using theoretical concepts to talk about phonological processes in English and other languages.

  • The second course objective is to gain a better understanding of the phonological representation of segments and syllables, and of segmental processes such as assimilation. In the workgroups, we will discuss the readings for that particular week in more detail. Each week, you should prepare the exercises and assignments given for that week. Some assignments are meant to help you interpret the readings and understand the most relevant recent theories in the field.

  • The third course objective is to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills. For this reason, you will do exercises and assignments that are intended to help you to think about the theories discussed by focusing your attention on particular analyses of phonological processes.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture (1 hour per week)

  • Seminar (1 hour per week)

Assessment method


A two-hour final examination with closed questions, short open questions and essay questions.

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


  • Final exam: 100%


The end-of-term exam can be retaken if the mark is 5.49 or less.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.
Philip Carr (2019), English Phonetics and Phonology: An Introduction. 3rd edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

General information about MyStudyMap is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


All other information.