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Experimental Phonetics


Admission requirements

Background in phonetics and phonology. Students should be acquainted with the contents of a general phonetics textbook, such as Rietveld & van Heuven (2009) Algemene Fonetiek [General Phonetics] (Coutinho, Bussum) or Ladefoged & Johnson (2011) A Course in Phonetics. Students are recommended to take the course Analysis and Synthesis of Speech (5194KTH06), if they have not completed any courses of a similar nature.


In this course, we will explore four important areas of phonetic research by critically reading and discussing a series of articles. These areas include speech coarticulation, phonetic category learning in first and second languages, representation and processing of pronunciation variation, and prosodic encoding of information structure. Students will present and discuss the readings in class. As a final assignment, students will either write up an in-depth review of the literature on one of the four research areas or develop a research proposal which should address a novel question within the context of our focus research areas.

Course objectives

After taking this class, students should be able to:

  • understand the concepts and fundamental questions in several specific research areas concerning oral speech communication.

  • learn how experimental techniques can be employed to answer a question of scientific interest.

  • critically evaluate original research articles (their goals, methods, findings, and interpretations) in the area of experimental phonetics.

  • give an oral presentation on a scientific paper to a group of peers and to evaluate peer presentations.

  • summarize and synthesize the literature so as to identify relevant research questions of their own interest.

And for those very motivated, they will also be encouraged to:

  • design a well-controlled experiment which should include a sound research question supported by a relevant literature review, a detailed description of the research method, an explanation of the hypothesis and predictions, as well as the interpretation of possible outcomes.

  • write up the experimental design as a research proposal.


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

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 26 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 130 hours

  • time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading/research): 124 hours

Assessment Method

  • One oral presentation of the reading materials 20%

  • Four short (1 page) written responses to a critical point of the readings in each research area 20%

  • In-class participation 20%

  • Final assignment (including a mid-term progress report 10% and an end-term final paper 30%) 40%

Resit: students who fail the course may resit the final assignment.


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

Students will be required to read original publications published in professional journals.


Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the coordinator of studies

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


MA Linguistics departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;