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Linguistics 4: The Phonology of English


Admission requirements

Students have taken and passed a BA-course on phonetics (e.g., Linguistics 1: “The Phonetics of English”).


“The Phonology of English” is a mandatory course for second year BA Students of English Language and Culture. It is concerned with the relationship between phonetic and phonoligical structure, building on the knowledge that you acquired in the first-year course “Linguistics 1: The Phonetics of English”. We will assume familiarity with phonetic terminology and phonemic transcriptions.

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 a book chapter and you prepare exercises or short assignments at home.

Course objectives

The first course aim is to introduce the general terminology and principles of phonological theory. In the first few weeks, you will read one book chapter 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 objective of the course is to acquire a basic knowledge of phonological representations of segments and syllables and to understand the basic principles behind segmental processes such as assimilation. You will also develop a better understanding of the allophonic behaviour of English speech sounds and we will teach you the skills of relating data to theory.

The third course objective is to develop and train your academic and linguistic 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.

In the final examination you will be able to show that you can read and interpret the relevant literature on phonological theory and that you gained insights into the relationship between phonology and the structure of morphologically complex words. You will show that you can apply your knowledge to small data sets which you will be able to analyse.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Lecture (1 hour per week)
Seminar (1 hour per week)

Assessment method


A one-hour written mid-term examination with closed questions and short open questions
A two-hour final examination with closed questions, short open questions and essay questions


Mid-term written examination: 30%
End-of-term examination: 70%
A minimum mark of 5.49 for the mid-term exam
A minimum mark of 5.49 for the end-of-term exam


The mid-term exam and the end-of-term exam can be retaken if one or both marks are 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

Course book: Philip Carr & Jean-Pierre Montreuil (2013). *Phonology *(2nd edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
The first edition of this book is out of date and not compatible with the second edition.
Other readings will be provided.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. J. Grijzenhout

Dr. E.D. Botma


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.