• Ling-D. The Sound Structure of Human Language: From Data to Theory

    (Marc van Oostendorp, Meertens Institute)

     This course is available to all students. It is intended for those interested in sound systems of human language.

    When we study the sound structure of human language, or phonology, we can use many kinds of data: ranging from the notes of fieldworkers (possibly ourselves) to experimental data, and from large corpora in a single language to databases with information about many languages. At the same time, we need to build a coherent theory that can make sense of all those kinds ofdata. In this class we give an introduction into modern phonology, showing, on the one hand, how we can take into account all these very different kinds of data – from native speaker's intuitions, from experiments, from second language learners, etc. – while making a theory ofhow sound structure of language (or in the case of sign language: the structure of signs) works.

    The course requires no previous background in phonology. The following topics will be discussed:

    1. - What is phonology? What is about? If there are sound systems, where are they located? What is the difference between phonology and phonetics?

    2. - The smalles building blocks of sounds: features

    3. - The internal organisation of sounds: introduction to autosegmental phonology

    4. - The external organisation of sounds: syllable structure

    5. - How syllables fit together: stress

    6. - Higher-order phonological structure: word structure

    7. - Interaction of phonology with syntax and morphology

    8. - The computational system of phonology