Updated: September 19, 2007
Instructor: Elizabeth J. Pyatt
Office Location: 210 Rider II (Downtown on White Loop)
Official Office Hours: Mon 4-5 or by appointment
Office Phone: 865-0805 (with Voicemail)
Location: 144 Fenske
Times: T R 9:45-11:00
First Meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 28
Read the LING 404 Blog for class announcements.
Requirements by Percentage and Points Reqirements Percentage Details
11 Problem Sets (Drop 1)
45% Data Analysis, Blog Journal, Adopt-A-Language
Homeworks are due in class each Thursday.
Late Assignments are reduced by 3 points.
Midterm 20% Weeks 1-6, Matching, Short Answer, Fill in the Blank Final Exam 25% Take Home Exam for second part of Course. Data Analysis and one Adopt-A-Language Essay Question. Participation/Attendance 10%
Adopt A Language
Adopt a Language is a research activity where you will purchase a low-cost language textbook for a language you are unfamiliar with and apply simple phonological analyses to the data found within the textbook in a blog journal.
See Where to Find Language Textbooks for more details.
You will be asked to use the Blogs at Penn State system this semester for your Adopt a Language journals (accounts will be assigned to you).
Before you can use the Blogs at Penn State you must activate your Personal Web Space by filling out the form at https://www.work.psu.edu/webspace/
Additional instructions will be provided in the first week of class.
This is an introductory phonetics and phonology course focusing on basic analysis of linguistic data. By the end of this class you should be able to do the following
- Transcribe the sounds of English and other languages in phonetic notation
- Develop "ear" to discriminate key phonetic differences
- Understand simple phonetic principles for articulation and speech perception
- Describe the phonological features and methods of articulation for phoneme or phone
- Use phonological analysis to determine the underlying sound inventory of a language
- Describe basic phonological processes in formal notation and in prose.
- Provide basic linguistic descriptions and analysis for a language's sound system, phonological alternations, syllable structures, and stress system.
- Begin to identify sounds and phenomena which are marked in world languages
- Understand and use basic SPE rule notation, autosegmental notation, feature geometry notation, and metrical notation
Some Practical Uses of Phonology
- Understand mechanics behind foreign language sounds so that you can hear/pronounce them better
- Teach others mechanics behind English/non-English sounds so they can hear/pronounce them better
- Understand reasons for non-standard pronunciations and be better able to appreciate their unique cultural quirkiness
- Used to reconstruct historical sound change and decipher new scripts
- Critical for fieldwork of under-documented or undocumented languages
- Assist speakers of unwritten languages to develop usable writing system for their language
- Can be used determine position of word breaks and syntactic constituency
- Use the IPA to write out pronunciations of unusual words.
- IPA used in many foreign language dictionaries.
And don't forget possibilities for
- Becoming a dialect coach
- Creating artificial languages
- Writing out pronunciations for names not in your language
There will be 11 problem sets (drop lowest grade), which together are worth 45% of your grade.
Assignments turned in after the due date, but before the Answer keys are distributed will lose 3 points total. Partial assignments can be turned in on the due date for full credit and the rest turned in with reduced credit.
Attendance and Participation
This will count for 5% of your final grade. In order to get practice with phonological analysis, sample problems will be worked out in class and students will be listen to audio samples in class and will practice non-English sounds out loud. Frequent attendance and participation is therefore encouraged in order to learn the material more effectively.
Participation points will be added for
- Attending class
- Answering questions
- Asking questions (even about homework, even via e-mail)
- Volunteering information
- Observing with concentration
- Adding comments to a blog
- Asking politely about potential typos or errors
Points will be subtracted for:
- Unexcused absenses
- Reading the newspaper during class
- Falling asleep during class
- Leaving in the middle of class (even if you come back)
- Inappropriate use of the cell phone, iPod, laptop or other modern convenience
The instructor is not obliged to point out each instance.
If you know you need to skip a class due to a religious holiday, athletic event or travel for any curricular reason (e.g. a conference, debate, field trip or club event), you should notify me at least one week in advance. If notified, these will count as excused absences
Valid medical and family emergencies may also be excused absences, although documentation may be requested in some cases.
College of Liberal Arts
Penn State defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (Faculty Senate Policy 49-20).
Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course.
Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University's Judicial Affairs office for possible further disciplinary sanction.
The instructor reserves the right to use plagiarism detection tools if needed.
Plagiarism and Linguistics Assignments
Working with a classmate or asking for advice of others (including myself) is acceptable, but all words must be your own. Problem sets are generally given out on a Thursday and are due the next Thursday.
Your data sources should be limited to basic grammars which have been preapproved by the instructor.
Use of linguistically oriented material such as linguistic grammars, Wikipedia, articles or handbooks may be considered an instance of academic dishonestly as this circumvents the process of doing your own analysis from raw data. Quality of analysis from available data, not "correctness" will be counted.
Disability Access Statement
The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified people with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities and is committed to the policy that all people shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and admissions without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation in this course or have questions about physical access, please tell the instructor as soon as possible.
Chapters in "Readings" refer to main textbook (Understanding Phonology by Gussenhaven & Jacobs) unless otherwise specified.
Week 1 (Aug 28, Aug 30)
- Tuesday: Syllabus & Sounds of English
- Thursday: Vocal Tract & Place of Articulation
- Readings: Chapter 1.3-1.7 of Main (Gussenhaven & Jacobs)
Week 2 (Sep 4, Sep 6)
- Tuesday: Manner
- Readings: (Larynx: Chap 1.2 & Constrictions Chap 1.5)
- Thursday: Vowels
- Readings: Chapter 1.4
- Assignment 1 Handed Out
Week 3 (Sep 11, Sep 13)
- Thursday: Narrow Transcriptions (English Dialects)
- Readings: TBA (You will get a dialect to report on)
- Tuesday: Spectrograms and Wave Forms
- Readings: RESERVES (Ladefoged, pp. 170-193)
- Assignment 1 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 2 Handed Out
Week 4 (Sep 18, Sep 20)
- Tuesday: Phonemes & Allophones
- Readings: Chapter 4
- Thursday: Finding the Underlying Form
- Readings: Chapter 4 Continued
- Assignment 2 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 3 Handed Out
Week 5 (Sep 25, Sep 27)
- Tuesday: Using Features & Consonantal Features
- Readings: Chapter 5.5
- Thursday: Vowel Features & Natural Classes
- Readings: Chapter 5.1-5.4
- Assignment 3 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 4 Handed Out
Week 6 (Oct 2, Oct 4)
- Tuesday: Writing Rules
- Readings: Chapter 6.1-6.3
- Thursday: Rule Ordering Effects
- Readings: Chapter 6.4-6.6 (skip 6.7 "Opacity")
- Assignment 4 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 5 Handed Out
Week 7 (Oct 9, Oct 11)
- Tuesday: Morphological Conditioning
- Readings: Chapter 8.1-8.5
- Thursday: Lexical Strata
- Assignment 5 Due (Thursday in class)
- Study for Midterm (Weeks 1-6)
Week 8 (Oct 16, Oct 18)
- Tuesday: CLASS CANCELLED (Study Day)
- Thursday: IN CLASS MIDTERM
Week 9 (Oct 23, Oct 25)
- Tuesday: Autosegmental Tones
- Readings: Chapter 9
- Thursday: Autosegments and Vowel Harmony
- Readings: RESERVES (Kenstowicz, Chapter 7.4)
- Assignment 6 Handed Out
Week 10 (Oct 30, Nov 1)
- Tuesday: Phonological Skeleton
- Readings: Chapter 10.2
- Thursday: Mora Theory
- Chapter 10.5
- RESERVES (Kenstowicz, Chapter 8.7)
- Assignment 6 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 7 Handed Out
Week 11 (Nov 6, Nov 8)
- Tuesday: Syllable Structure
- Readings: Rest of Chapter 10
- Thursday: Sonority & Syllabification
- Assignment 7 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 8 Handed Out
Week 12 (Nov 13, Nov 15)
- Tuesday: Simple Stress
- Readings: Chapter 13
- Thursday: Not-so-Simple Stress
- Readings: Chapter 14 (Except 14.5)
- Assignment 8 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 9 Handed Out (Due after Thanksgiving)
Week 13 (Nov 20, Nov 22)
- Tuesday: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
- Thursday: EAT AND WATCH TV
Week 14 (Nov 27, Nov 29)
- Tuesday: Feature Geometry (Grouping Autosegments)
- Readings: Chapter 11-12
- Thursday: More Feature Geometry
- Assignment 9 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 10 Handed Out (Due after Thanksgiving)
Week 15 (Dec 4, Dec 6)
- Tuesday: Markedness
- Readings: Chapter 2
- Thursday: Constraints in Morphology
- Readings: Chapter 3, Chapter 14.5
- Assignment 10 Due (Thursday in class)
- Assignment 11 Handed Out (Due after Thanksgiving)
Week 16 (Dec 11, Dec 13)
- Thursday: Phonology in Poetic Meter
- Readings: TBA (You will get a meter to report on)
- Tuesday: Phonology and Writing Systems
- Assignment 11 Due (Thursday in class)
- Take Home Final Handed Out
Last Update: September 19, 2007