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Experimental Phonetics (BA)


Admission requirements

Not applicable


In this course, we will take an experimental approach to the study of speech. We will learn the basic processes/mechanisms of speech production and perception, couched within the general understanding of the structure and dynamics of the human speech organs and the hearing system. The core of the course addresses acoustical properties of speech segments as well as the phonetics of suprasegmental prosody (i.e. lexical tones, stress patterns, rhythm, phrasing, and sentence melody). Another important component of the course will be on practical skills, such as the articulation and perception of speech sounds, transcription, and most importantly, instrumental analyses of speech. During the practice sessions, students will be applying what they have learned to analyzing and describing the sound system of an unfamiliar language. In doing so, students will also gain experience in writing up experimental results for publication.

Course objectives

After taking this class, students will acquire knowledge and insight into:

  • The process of human communication through speech and hearing.

  • The relationship between linguistic structure and speech sound.

  • Structure and dynamics of the human speech organs and hearing mechanism.

They will also learn:

  • To explain how speech is produced and how we can measure and quantify that process of production;

  • To hone their practical skills by analyzing speech in PRAAT

  • To formulate a linguistically inspired research question and address the question via instrumental analysis.

  • To analyze the phonetic structure of an unfamiliar language and write up a lab report.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar in English which includes lectures, hands-on tutorials, and project.

Assessment method

  1. Final exam (50%)
  2. Practical projects (50%)
    A subset of the tests can be arranged for resit.

Exam review

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

Recommended reading:

Ashby, M. (2005). Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge University Press.
Zsiga, Elizabeth, C. 2013. The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Willey-Blackwell.

More Advanced:
Laver, J. (1994). Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge University Press
Johnson, Keith. 2011. Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics. 3rd Edition.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


This course is open to students from the BA Linguistics only.