Phonetics & Phonology


Spring 2023

Applied Linguistics 4011; CRN: 11041

Mondays & Wednesdays 2:00-3:15

332 Aderhold

Instructor:   Dr. Stephanie Lindemann
Office: 25 Park Place, 15th floor, room 1528
Phone: 404-413-5177
Office Hours:  Monday 4-5 pm and by appointment


This is the official version of the syllabus.



Course Description:

This course explores speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and as linguistic units (phonology). In viewing sounds as physical elements, the focus is on articulatory description: How are speech sounds made? What types of movements and configurations of the vocal tract are used to produce sounds in the world’s languages? In this part of the course, the goal is to learn to produce, transcribe, and describe in articulatory terms many of the sounds known to occur in human languages. In the next part of the course, the focus is on sounds as members of a particular linguistic system. Phonological data from a wide range of languages are analyzed—that is, regularities or patterns in sound distribution are extracted from the data set and then stated within a formal phonological framework. We will also construct arguments to support the proposed analyses, and we will find that phonetic factors play a crucial role in validating phonological analyses. Throughout the course, a major emphasis is placed on the fact that speech sounds are simultaneously physical and linguistic elements and that these two aspects of sound structure are interdependent. Class sessions will consist of lectures, phonetic practice, and discussion of phonological data sets.


Learning Outcomes:

After finishing this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe how each phoneme of English is articulated
  • Describe how common non-English sounds are articulated
  • Produce some speech sounds that are new to you
  • Identify some speech sounds that are new to you when you hear them produced
  • Phonetically transcribe English words and sentences using the IPA, including common diacritics
  • Phonetically transcribe ‘words’ that include sounds that are not phonemes in English
  • Discuss how languages differ in their sound systems in terms of suprasegmentals such as stress, syllable structure, tone/intonation, and rhythm
  • Describe sounds in terms of distinctive features
  • Identify natural classes of sounds using distinctive features
  • Analyze data from a language you don't know to determine whether two sounds are considered distinct (separate phonemes) by speakers of that language or whether the choice of sounds is rule-governed, and if the latter, write the rule using distinctive features
  • Analyze data from a language you don't know and provide a general rule that explains allophonic variation for a pair or set of phonemes
  • Distinguish between more plausible and less plausible hypotheses for a possible rule



Course Reading:

Reetz, Henning and Allard Jongman. 2009. Phonetics: Transcription, Production, Acoustics, and Perception. Wiley-Blackwell. Sound files are available at Second edition of this book, published in 2020, also fine. The chapters and sections correspond, so you’ll always read the same sections/chapters as what I have assigned in the syllabus, regardless of which edition you have.

The text is available at the GSU bookstore. Additional readings available on iCollege from:
Davenport, Mike & S. J. Hannahs. 2010. Introducing Phonetics & Phonology, 3rd edition. Hodder Education.
Hayes, Bruce. 2009. Introductory Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell.
Zsiga, Elizabeth C. (2013). The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Additional resources, especially tools to help learn articulatory descriptions and the IPA, can be found through



20% Homework assignments
20% Quizzes

25% Midterm exam

35% Final exam


Homework assignments and/or quizzes will be due nearly every class period. If you miss class, be sure to 1) get your homework to me by class time some other way and 2) find out what assignment is due and complete it before the next class meeting so that you can turn your homework in on time.



Grading Scale:

A+ 98-100 B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79    
A 94-97 B 84-86 C 74-76 D 60-69
A- 90-93 B- 80-83 C- 70-73 F <60



Program learning outcomes
Core areas of linguistics: Students demonstrate understanding of the core areas within linguistic study: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, semantics Mastery All assignments
Analysis of linguistic structure: Students acquire the skills to analyze language and/or interlanguage structures (e.g., sound structure...) Mastery All assignments


Other course policies:

  1. Attendance. Attendance at all class meetings is essential. I expect everyone to be on time, with the reading and homework completed, and to be prepared with questions and comments about the assigned readings. If you need to miss a class for some reason, please contact me beforehand (or immediately afterwards, if it’s an emergency). I reserve the right to lower your final grade by a full letter grade if you are absent for four class sessions or more.
  2. E-mail. I will use your official university e-mail address if I need to contact you between course meetings. You are responsible for checking your mail regularly.
  3. Special needs.Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Access and Accommodations Center. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Access and Accommodations Center of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought.
  4. Quizzes and exams.If you have a religious holiday or other conflict with an exam date, talk to me ahead of time to arrange an alternate time to take the exam (you may need to take it earlier than the scheduled date). If you have an emergency that causes you to miss an exam, let me know as soon as possible to try to arrange a make-up. Documentation of the emergency may be required.
  5. Office hours. Please make use of them. You don’t need to have difficulties with the material to come in to office hours. Feel free to come in and discuss issues that interest you, talk about how the course is going, or share any suggestions you have.
  6. Academic dishonesty. This course will adhere to the university’s policy on academic honesty (see
  7. Cell phone. Cell phone use is prohibited during class. If you are expecting a crucial call during class, inform me ahead of time. Otherwise, you should turn off your cell phone before each class.
  8. Laptops. The use of laptops is not permitted in class. They tend distract the user and those around the user. If you have an exceptional reason for needing to use a laptop, please talk to me.
  9. End-of-term course evaluations. Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State University. Upon completing the course, please take the time to fill out the online course evaluation. Comments are especially helpful. 


Basic needs statement:
Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. Furthermore, I urge you to please notify me or any of your other instructors if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable us to communicate and coordinate to provide any mutual aid and/or resources that we have available to us. If you are facing homelessness, the Embark program at GSU also provides vital resources for students and their families. Likewise, Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid is also a vital resource for local communities and individuals in need of support and assistance.

Information on short-term paid internships:
GSU has partnered with Parker Dewey, a platform that assists you in locating short-term (typically 10-40 hours) paid internships to help you build and demonstrate skills while exploring career paths. These internships take place in metro-Atlanta and around the US, most remotely! Explore areas like book editing, white paper development, website development, marketing, and more. Internships are available year-round! If you are interested or think you might be, here's what to do: (a) For more information or to apply, visit:; (b) University Career Services can help you create or polish your resume/CV and prepare for interviews:; (c) If these sites don't answer your questions, reach out to Sharon Cavusgil, Director / Applied Linguistics Undergraduate Program at





Date Topic Assignment due by first date listed; additional resources



English monophthong descriptions, IPA symbols, and keywords. Where two vowels appear in the same cell, the one written above is tense and the one below is lax. Circled vowels are rounded.
English diphthong IPA symbols and keywords

high back vowels


Articulatory phonetics

R&J Chapter 2
English consonant descriptions & symbols on main IPA chart; complex consonants

Sammy, the interactive sagittal section
IPA chart


1/16 Martin Luther King Day NO CLASS



R&J Chapter 3
Due January 18: homework 1
Due January 23: homework 2 on description & reverse transcription; also study for vowel chart quiz
Due January 25: homework 3, and keep studying your vowels as well as consonants
Due January 30: homework 4 on reverse transcription & diacritics

diacritics and other aspects of narrow transcription

favorite manner of articulation
laminal-knuckular fricative

2/1-2/6 States of the glottis; voice onset time

R&J sections 6.2 & 6.3 (i.e. in Chapter 6)

Examples of different phonation types:
Gujarati breathy vowels
Hindi stops (including breathy/murmured/voiced aspirated)
phonation types: Jalapa Mazatec

VOT figures from textbook:
voiced vs. voiceless unaspirated vs. voiceless aspirated
Dutch vs. English
VOT extras (English 'stop' plus Thai & Korean plosives)

2/8 Non-English consonants: ejectives, implosives, clicks

R&J section 6.1
Lakhota ejectives (in the top row of words)
Sindhi stops, including implosives (in the top row)
Clicks in Xhosa

2/13-2/20 Non-English sounds

R& J Chapter 4. I will focus on retroflex, uvular, and pharyngeal places of articulation, trills and lateral fricatives, and combinations of already familiar places and manners that don't exist in English (such as bilabial fricatives). We will also do a few front rounded vowels and a few back unrounded vowels. You will need to know what each of these means (and what it sounds like, at least approximately!) and be familiar with the relevant transcription symbols.(Of course, we will be going over this in class; this is just so you know what to focus on in your reading.)

retroflex cat 1 (note that cat demonstrates proper tongue shape, but not tongue position)
retroflex cat 2 (same for this one)
velar fricative (though I think cats' hisses sound more palatal, possibly because my perception is not correcting for their smaller vocal tract size)

Additional useful links:
Another direct link to an IPA chart that plays the sounds when you click on them
Watch and hear Xhosa clicks

1. Sound file with me producing all of the voiceless fricatives (each by itself), from bilabial to glottal. In this file, notice how the /s/ has the highest frequency noise and the frequency gets lower as the fricatives are farther back.
2. Sound file with me producing all of the voiceless fricatives with a low back vowel (more or less) in the frame /fɑ... ɑfɑ/ Again, I start with the biliabial fricative and produce each one in both frames, going back to glottal. Note that producing the palatal fricative with a back vowel was particularly challening... perhaps you can figure out why that might be difficult!
3. Sound file with me producing all of the voiced fricatives with a low back vowel, same format as #2.
**Remember that identifying the differences among fricatives is not going to be as easy with a recording as 'live' production. Also, I produced these under less than ideal circumstances, so the differences may be less clear thanks to that.***



Midterm exam



R&J Chapter 11

Ibibio tones
Chinese tones
3/1 Introduction to Phonology

Hayes (2009) pp 19-30

3/6-3/8 Phonological features

Davenport & Hannahs (2010)

3/13-3/15 Spring Break NO CLASS
3/20 Phonotactics and alternations

Zsiga (2013) pp 221-246; esp. 11.3
No office hour;
Class is on iCollege.

3/22-3/29 Phonotactics and alternations, cont.


Phonology resources:
manners of articulation, visual for major features
Steps for solving a phonology puzzle

Phonology memes:
learn phonemes, features
memorizing the feature chart?
word boundaries

4/3-19 Rules and derivations in generative grammar

Zsiga (2013) pp 275-284 (some diff features from D&H; we’ll use D&H’s)

more phonology memes:

Turkish vowels
vowel harmony
underlying representation

4/24 Wrap-up & review



Final exam, 1:30-4 pm



The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.