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Linguistics 5: The Phonology of English Sounds and Syllables


Admission requirements

A pass mark for Linguistics 1 and 4 (or similar courses).


This course is concerned with the relationship between phonetic and phonological structure in English, building on the material considered in Linguistics 1. The focus of the course will be on the internal structure of speech sounds, whose phonetic properties we will examine by means of allophonic descriptions, and on the phonological organisation of these sounds into syllables.

Course objectives

  • Students are acquainted with the allophonic properties of English speech sounds;

  • Students have a basic knowledge of the phonological representation of segments and syllables, and of segmental processes such as assimilation.


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

Mode of instruction

Lecture (1 hour per week) and seminar (1 hour per week)

Course Load

  • Time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 14 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 50 hours

  • Time to prepare for the exam and in-term quizzes: 76 hours

Assessment method

Written exam (80%), essay (20%)


This course is supported by blackboard.

Reading list

Philip Carr (2013). English phonetics and phonology: an introduction. 2nd edn. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Please note: Do not purchase or use the 1st edition (1999). This edition is out of date, and is not compatible with the 2nd edition.

You should also have in your possession the following, which was used in Linguistics 1:
Collins, Beverley & Inger M. Mees (1998). Working with the phonetics of English and Dutch. Leiden: Brill (4th revised edition).


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the coordinator 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.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration via Studeren à la carte
Registration via Contractonderwijs


English Language and Culture departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; english@hum.leidenuniv.nl.
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.