nl en

Advanced Phonology 1


Admission requirements

Introductory (BA-level) courses in phonetics and phonology.


Our focus in this course is on the internal structure of speech sounds. We devote particular attention to the framework of Element Theory (Backley 2011), which offers a restrictive approach to phonological contrasts in terms of ‘elements’ rather than traditional features. In assessing the advantages of this approach, and the challenges which it faces, we will examine a range of phonological phenomena from a wide variety of languages.

Course objectives

  • Insight into a number of recent developments in theoretical phonology.

  • Insight into the importance of data in phonological theorising.

  • Insight into the structural aspects of speech sounds.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

Weekly two-hour seminar.

Course Load

Total course load: 130 hours
Time spent on attending seminars: 6 x 2 = 12 hours
Time spent on studying the compulsory literature: 68 hours
Time spent on preparing the presentation and final essay: 50 hours

Assessment method


Presentation, in-term assignments, classroom participation (20%)
Final essay (80%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. In order to pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for the final essay.


If the mark for the essay is a 5.49 or lower, a resit essay must be submitted during the resit exam period, with a new topic. There is no resit for presentations and in-term assignments.

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.


Blackboard will be used for general information pertaining to the course, e.g. the course programme, the presentation schedule, in-term assignments, etc.

Reading list

Backley, Phillip. (2011). An Introduction to Element Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Additional reading material (to be made available)


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.

The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk