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Linguistics 1: The Phonetics of English


Admission requirements



The course comprises an introduction into the phonetics (pronunciation) of Modern English. Students learns how speech sounds are made, and how they are described and classified; how they are combined and what infleunce they can have on each other. Students are also introduced to phonemic transcription.

Course objectives

Students will gain knowledge of and insight into phonetic concepts, the description of English speech sounds; and the symbols used to transcribe English phonemically.


The timetable will be available by June 1st at: hum.leidenuniv.nl/engels/roosters

Mode of instruction

One hour lecture and one hour tutorial per week.

Assessment method

Three in-term quizzes (30%); written test (70%); if the average for the quizzes is lower than the test mark, the latter counts 100%


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Syllabus

  • Beverley Collins & Inger Mees (1999), The phonetics of English and Dutch, Leiden: Brill.

  • Beverley Collins & Inger Mees (1998), Working with the phonetics of English and Dutch, Leiden: Brill. (Bij deze boeken behoren 3 CDs, die beschikbaar zijn via het Studiepunt.)

  • David Crystal (1995), The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition 2003

  • John Wells (1990), Longman pronouncing dictionary, Harlow: Longman.


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail: english@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail: english@hum.leidenuniv.nl.
Studentcounsellor Bachelor: Ms. S.H.J. Bollen, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103B.
Coordinator of Studies Master: Ms. K. van der Zeeuw-Filemon, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.