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Linguistics 1: Analyzing English Sounds and Words


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course offers an introduction to the phonetics and the morphology of modern English. In the first part of the course we examine the production, description and classification of English speech sounds, and we look at how the sounds of English are transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The second part of the course examines the morphological structure of English words. We consider among other things the types of building blocks of which words are composed, the difference between inflection and derivation, the internal structure of compounds.

Course objectives


  • become acquainted with the aims of (English) linguistics;

  • become acquainted with the terminology needed in the study of phonetics and morphology;

  • learn the articulatory and acoustic properties of English speech sounds;

  • learn the symbols needed to do phonemic transcriptions;

  • learn to analyze the internal structure of complex words;

  • learn about the difference between inflection, derivation, and compounding


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lecture (1 hour per week) and tutorial (2 hours per week)

Assessment method


Mid-term (written) exam on phonetics (including a transcription assignment); final (written) exam on morphology.
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.


  • Mid-term exam: 50%

  • Final exam: 50%


To pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for both the mid-term and the final exam. If the mark for either of the exams is 5.49 or lower, the exam will have to be retaken during the resit period.

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 be organized.

Reading list

  • Knight, Rachael-Anne (2012). Phonetics: A coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Carstairs-McCarthy, Andrew (2018). An introduction to English morphology: words and their structure. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

  • A syllabus (with weekly exercises and the course programme) will be made available through Brightspace before the start of the course.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.
Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.



Not applicable.