English 443/543: Phonology (3 credits)

Fall 2016

Dr. Guy Carden

e-mail: (best way to make contact)

Prerequisites: This course has no prerequisites.


  • Practical phonetics - Using their own speech as a model, students will learn how English speech sounds are produced and how to analyze speech sounds by articulatory dimensions. Students will be able to explain the basic structure underlying the International Phonetic Alphabet. Students will be able to use the IPA to transcribe their own English speech and easy non-English examples. Students will learn basic operations of the Praat acoustic analysis system so they can use Praat as a demonstration and transcription tool.

  • Surface phonological analysis - Students will be fluent in analyzing surface patterns of contrast and complementation in moderately complex data sets from English and from unfamiliar languages. Students will be able to give examples showing the range of variation across human languages.

  • Abstract phonological analysis - Students will learn to find evidence for more abstract underlying structures and to build quasi-formal models of rule systems mapping underlying representations into surface phonetic representations. Students will learn one system for mapping articulatory dimensions into phonological features and writing feature-based rules.

  • Linguistic argumentation and model building - Students will become fluent in building models representing alternative analyses of a given data set and in using the data to make arguments to choose between competing models.

  • Phonological theory - Students will be able to describe one standard approach to phonological theory, but will have little or no knowledge of alternative approaches.

  • Applications - Students will learn analysis tools that will help in language teaching (and speech pathology). Warning: This class gives you tools; you’ll need other classes to see how to apply the tools.


Required: David Odden. 2013. Introducing Phonology, 2nd ed. ISBN: 9781107627970, Bookie $20.25 - $45.00

The publisher has a useful website:

Recommended: Geoffrey K. Pullum and William A. Ladusaw. 1996. Phonetic Symbol Guide, 2nd ed.

(Note error: The Bookie lists this as required.)

Tentative Schedule (To be adjusted as needed.)

Weeks 1-3: Introduction: Goals of phonology. Practical articulatory phonetics. Classes of sounds. Quick

introduction to acoustic phonetics and the Praat analysis system.

Reading: Odden Chap.1; Odden, “Phonetics Overview”

Glance through Pullum and Ladusaw.

Weeks 4-5: Surface analysis: Allophonic processes and rules: Odden Chap. 2

Weeks 6-7: Features to represent classes of sounds, formal notation for rules: Odden Chap. 3

Weeks 8-10: More abstract analysis: Levels of representation: underlying forms, surface forms, rule systems and

derivations: Odden Chap. 4

Weeks 11-13: Interacting processes, rule ordering: Odden Chap. 5

Week 14: Sample phonological sketches: Odden Chap. 6

Week 15: Take-home final exam handed out Tuesday. Extended problem for graduate students handed out

Tuesday. Review; questions about take-home exam in class Thursday.

Time Commitment

According to the university catalog, "Academic credit is a measure of the total minimum time commitment required of a typical student in a specific course. For the WSU semester system one semester credit is assigned for a minimum of 45 hours." Since this is a three-credit class, the time commitment for work outside of lecture should therefore average a minimum of six hours per week.

Expect this to be a relatively demanding course: With a problem set or a quiz almost every week, it will be essential to come to class and keep up. On the other hand, the workload will be quite evenly distributed through the term.

Course Requirements

Homework - Most weeks we will have a data-analysis problem set graded credit/no credit. Expect 80% of the work and 80% of the learning to come from these problem sets.

There will typically be a class session between when the problem is assigned and when it is due, so that you have the opportunity to ask questions before the homework is due. We will usually discuss the problem in class the day it is due, so it is important to get the problems done before class.

If you get a grade of "no credit" on a problem set, you will have a chance to redo the problem or (more often) to do a make-up problem to get a grade of "credit".

Homework can be turned in as hard copy in class or electronically using the Class Dropbox at The upload password is ______________.

Quizzes - We will have several short quizzes, probably between 5 and 7. These quizzes will consist of problems similar to those we discuss in class and those on the homework assignments. No individual quiz is worth much; however all together they will form about a third of your course grade. There will be no make-up quizzes unless you have a genuine emergency -- see below.

Extended Analysis - Students enrolled in 543 will do an additional assignment analyzing a data set that is larger and more complex than the usual problem set. The analysis will require the formulation and ordering of rules and arguing for particular analyses. This extended analysis problem will be handed out Tuesday 6 December and due by 5:00 pm Wednesday, 14 December. (443 students are invited to do this problem for fun, but there is no extra credit.)

Final Exam - The final exam for 443 and 543 will be a take-home handed out Tuesday 6 December and due by 5:00 pm Wednesday, 14 December. I will answer questions about the final and the extended problem in the final class 8 December.

(Grades for all assignments are scaled; grades for the course are scaled.)

Collaboration Homework: The credit/no credit problem sets are intended for learning, not for evaluation. You are encouraged to work together on these assignments: Discuss the data, compare different analyses, and so on. However, each of you should write up your final solution independently.

Quizzes, take-home final exam, take-home extended analysis: Do these assignments independently; collaboration is cheating. (See Academic Integrity below.) If you have questions about the take-home exam or analysis, bring it up in class or send me an e-mail.

Late assignments, missed quizzes, and incompletes

University policy (Academic Regulation #90) states that Incompletes may only be awarded if: "the student is unable to complete their work on time due to circumstances beyond their control". The same policy applies to assignments and quizzes: If you have a genuine emergency, you have a right to a make-up or some equivalent accommodation; otherwise, get it done, please.

This is especially important for the routine problem sets. You may feel that you don't have a good analysis for the data, but write it up anyway, come to class, and join the discussion. If you can't get to class, turn in your (imperfect) write-up using the class dropbox.

Important Dates Fall 2016

Friday, August 26 Last day students may add a course on-line. (Classes added after this date require appropriate signatures.)

Friday, September 2 Deadline for enrollment prior to $100 late registration fee. Deadline to change from audit to credit.

Friday, September 9 Last day to change enrollment from letter graded to pass/fail.

Friday, September 16 Last day to add a course as audit or to change from credit to audit.

Tuesday, September 20 Deadline for dropping a course without record. (Course withdrawals after this date are recorded on the student's transcript and students are assessed a $5 withdrawal fee.)

Wednesday, October 12 Mid-term grades due.

Friday, November 18 Deadline for undergraduate and professional students to withdraw from a course (see Rule 68). Withdrawals do not reduce tuition charges or the total official hours of enrollment.

Tuesday December 6. Take-home final exam for undergraduates and graduate students handed out in class. Extended problem for graduate students handed out in class.

Friday, December 9 The last day of instruction for the term. Deadline to change from pass/fail to letter graded. Last day to add a course for this term with appropriate signatures.

Wednesday, 14 December. Take-home final exam for undergraduates and graduate students due 5:00 PM. Extended problem for graduate students due 5:00 p.m.

Monday, December 12 - Friday, December 16 Exam week: The Registrar will send out an e-mail informing students of the day/time for their exams.

University Announcements

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center website to follow published procedures to request accommodations: Students may also either call or visit the Access Center in person to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. Location: Washington Building 217; Phone: 509-335-3417. All disability related accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. Students with approved accommodations are strongly encouraged to visit with instructors early in the semester during office hours to discuss logistics.

For more information contact a Disability Specialist: 509-335-3417, e-mail

Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will fail the assignment, quiz or exam; if the violation is repeated or very serious (copying an entire quiz or homework assignment or cheating on the final exam, for example), you will fail the class, you will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and you will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating: If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.

For further information, look at In addition, refer to the Reference Guide on Academic Integrity for information about process and procedure: It says “A Reference Guide for Faculty”, but it’s useful for students too.

If you wish to appeal a faculty member's decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at

Grade Appeals: According to the Education Policies and Procedures Manual (EPPM), “Students having complaints about instruction or grading should refer them first to the instructor. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student may refer the complaint in writing to the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered by the end of the last day of the following semester.”

Safety and Emergency Notification: Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).

Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

Severe Weather: For severe weather alerts, see and In the event of severe weather affecting university operations, guidance will be issued through the alert system.

E-Mail In compliance with WSU policy, I can only respond to e-mail sent from your WSU e-mail address (the address in your myWSU account). I cannot respond to e-mail sent from non-WSU accounts.