The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
29 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA Q10012 Linguistics

Module description

This module builds on foundational phonological concepts from introductory phonology (e.g. LG404) to explore their implementation and development within mainstream theories in the current research literature. Through data from a wide range of languages, we will examine universal tendencies in phonological patterning while also identifying salient parameters of cross-linguistic variation. Topics will include syllabic and segmental representations, long-distance interactions, tonal phenomena, prosodically driven alternations and morphologically conditioned phonology. Different theories including representational phonology and Optimality Theory will be explored.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:
• To familiarise students with the main tools and methods of current phonological theories
• To explore and analyse phonological data from a wide variety of typologically diverse
• To develop critical-thinking skills of comparing competing analyses and evaluating
phonological argumentation

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

1. Describe phonological patterns using a sophisticated range of parameters
2. Develop and implement formal analyses of phonological data within current theories
3. Evaluate the soundness of phonological analyses using appropriate evidence and argumentation

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The classes will be delivered in seminar style with some dedicated lecture time to discuss and introduce concepts and time for problem solving and group work, discussions and presentations. Students will eb expected to do some reading in preparation for class.


  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Jacobs, Haike. (2017) Understanding phonology, London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • McCarthy, John J. (2008) Doing optimality theory: applying theory to data, Malden: Blackwell.
  • Kennedy, Robert. (2017) Phonology: a coursebook, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kager, René. (1999) Optimality theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Problem Set Assignment (1000 Words) 19/03/2020 35%
Coursework Essay (2000 Words) 21/04/2020 65%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Nancy C. Kula
Nancy C. Kula, Room 2.406, Ext 4267, nckula@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Dr Louise Jane Mycock
University of Oxford
Associate Professor in Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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