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Phonology: From Data to Analysis


Admission requirements

A basic knowledge of phonology is assumed; students should have followed an introductory course.


Phonology is a field that finds its data in a variety of empirical domains – from fieldwork data to phonetic or psycholinguistic experiment, from ‘armchair’ judgement to careful study of corpora – and has built a respectable body of insights into how sounds systems in language are structured and how they develop.

After a few introductory classes, students will work on a specific phonological phenomenon. They will collect new data on the phenomenon, develop an analysis and write a paper, paying particular attention to each of the steps required in making a phonological analysis: from selecting a topic to dealing with comments from readers.

Course objectives

  1. Students will learn to distinguish between cross-linguistically common and rare phonological patterns.
    2.Students will be able to analyze phonological patterns in a variety of ways and determine how they fit into a particular theoretical model or empirical observation.
    1. Students will write a paper with new data and a theoretical account..


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • Time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the literature: 112 hours

  • Participation in research (collecting and analyzing data): 90 hours

  • Preparing oral presentation: 10 hours

  • Time to write final paper: 40 hours

Assessment Method

Oral presentation: 30%
Written paper: 50%
Class attendance/participation: 20%

Resit: students who fail the course may resit the written paper.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Papers to be distributed in class

  • Backley, Philip (2011). An Introduction to Element Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press


Enrolment in uSis is obligatory. If you have any questions, please contact the student administration, tel. 071 5272144 or mail: .

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the coordinator of studies.

General information about uSis is available on the website.


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof