ENG2205 - The Sound Systems of English

Year of Study:2
Credit Units: 3
Duration: 45hours
Prerequisites: ENG1200 Introduction to Linguistics
or with special permission from Instructor and approval by Department Head
Module Description
This module is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific analysis of the sound system of English spoken language, though data from other languages will be discussed for comparison and illustrative purposes. The topics covered in this module include: the sounds used in the English language and how these sounds are categorised and analysed (segmental inventories); the biological mechanisms in the vocal tract that are used to produce human speech (articulatory phonetics); and the systems of rules and constraints that are used to combine sounds together to make spoken language (phonology). Students will learn: the principles behind the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and how to transcribe spoken language using the IPA; how to use modern computerised tools for analysing speech sounds (spectrograms); and how to analyse and represent phonological processes. The module aims to improve both students’ knowledge in phonetics and phonology and their oral proficiency in English.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Categorise the sounds used in English (phonemes) into natural classes, and indentify phonological processes.

  2. Transcribe language data using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

  3. Employ modern computer software for the phonetic analysis of human speech and use e-learning platforms, such as the Moodle-based eCampus system.

  4. Compare and contrast English speech samples (native, non-native, and various dialects) and analyse their phonetic/phonological differences and similarities systematically.

  5. Enhance their oral proficiency through their meta-linguistic awareness of English (L2) and Cantonese (L1) differences.