This class will explore the sound system of English. We will study vowel and consonant phonemes and their interactions – first for isolated words, then for connected speech. Our focus will be on the standard varieties of English spoken in Great Britain and in the USA, though other varieties will sometimes be included.
Where appropriate, English and German will be compared to highlight teaching/learning difficulties and find possible solutions. While this is not primarily a pronunciation class, the study of phonetics and phonology can help you improve your own pronunciation and equip you with the knowledge needed to teach English pronunciation to students.
Another aim of this course is to enable students to use the IPA – both passively and by actively producing phonemic transcriptions in one of the two standard varieties mentioned above. Since this skill requires a lot of practice, there will be weekly transcription exercises both in class and as homework assignments.
Our course book is:
- Collins, Beverly, Inger M. Mees and Paul Carley. 2019. Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students. 4th ed. London/New York: Routledge (ISBN 978-1-138-59150-9).
Additionally, the following book is recommended as a reference:
- Roach, Peter, Jane Setter and John Esling (eds). 2011. Daniel Jones: Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary. 18th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (ISBN 978-3-125-34688-8).
Both are available in the UB, though acquiring your own copies is recommended.