LS2ANS-Analysing Speech

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society and
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Jane Setter


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This is preparation for doing all kind of fieldwork which involves pronunciation. It would be useful for those interested in the pronunciation of children, in how accents differ, in analysing foreign accents, in forensic speaker comparison, and in sociolinguistic research involving speech patterns of a particular subgroup or change of pronunciation over time.

The course begins with an examination of the uses of phonetic transcription and what sorts of detail can be captured using impressionistic phonetics. Next it examines instrumental techniques for examining speech, including recording and editing. The relationship between articulation and the speech waveform are examined. Computer lab sessions will comprise a large part of this component.

At the end of the course, the student should feel confident to collect spoken language data and analyse it using several different techniques.

This course aims to provide students with a selection of techniques for analysing spoken language data, allowing the student to make sense of sound data collected in the field.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student should be able to:

1) produce and perceive all sounds on the current chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet;
2) demonstrate a high-level understanding of the phonetics and phonology of English:
3) select appropriate recording equipment and organise appropriate recording environments for collecting sound files;
4) display sound files and analyse their acoustic properties;
5) relate acoustic properties to linguistic properties such as vowel and consonant quality, stress, and intonation and paralinguistic qualities such as voice type;
6) report on their findings in written form.

Additional outcomes:
The student will learn about digital sound analysis and programs available to do it.

Outline content:
Articulatory phonetics, features of connected speech in English, analysing by ear, recorded speech, selecting recordings for analysis, reading waveforms, relating waveforms to articulation, spectrograms, relating spectrograms to articulation, suprasegmentals, voice quality, speech rate.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars, flipped lecture content and guided seminars in computer lab.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Seminars 9
Practicals classes and workshops 16
Supervised time in studio/workshop 2
Guided independent study 169
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Portfolio 10
Practical skills assessment 30
Set exercise 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written report: articulatory description (50%)
Practical skills assessment (30%);
Portfolio of worksheets (10%)
Weekly online multiple-choice questionnaire (10%)

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination by coursework and/or of practical skills to be submitted/arranged by 12 noon on the third Friday in August in the year the course is taken.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 27 September 2018


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