Introduction to the course
This module will introduce the concepts, methods and terminology essential to the scientific study of spoken language. It will cover the phonetic description of speech production, the quantitative analysis of speech sounds, and sources of variation and variety in speech.
The course aims:
- To provide knowledge of the structure and function of the vocal tract for speaking
- To provide knowledge of the structure and function of the ear for hearing
- To develop skills in the phonetic description of spoken language
- To introduce instrumental methods for analysis of speech sounds
- To demonstrate how experimental methods can be applied to a range of phenomena in speech communication
Knowledge and understanding
- Terminology used in the phonetic description of speech production
- Concepts used in the psychology of hearing
- Familiarity with the phonology of English
- Concepts and methods used in the quantitative analysis of speech sounds
- Elementary knowledge of how speech varies across speakers, accents, styles & emotions
- Ability to make a phonetic transcription of English words
- Ability to make good quality audio recordings of speech
- Ability to make measurements of speech using instruments such as waveforms, pitch tracks, spectra and spectrograms
The syllabus covers essential topics in Speech Science, including: the form of speech communication, sound and hearing, audio signals and systems, the acoustic-phonetic form of voice, vowels and consonants, the phonological structure of English, stress and intonation, speaker identity and accent variation, the effect of speaking styles and emotions on speech.
Lectures, Labs & Tutorials
Each week the course will offer the student: 1.5 hours of pre-recorded lecture videos; 1.5 hours of Lecture Q&A, Activities, and Tutorial; 1 hour of Laboratory. Lecture videos will be made available during the week before the content is discussed, allowing you enough time to digest the lecture content, post questions on the weekly Moodle Q&A forum, and come prepared for content discussion.
|Lectures (pre-recorded)||Wednesday (prior week)||Moodle|
|Lecture Q&A, Tutorial||Monday 11.00-12.30||Zoom|
|Laboratory||Wednesday 10-11, 11-12, or 12-13||CH B07|
|Lecturer & Tutor||Chris Carignanemail@example.com|
|Lab Tutor||Scott Lewisfirstname.lastname@example.org|
- Coursework: report on given topic, set week 5, due week 10. Maximum length 3000 words. 25% of credit.
- Written examination: 2 hour examination in May. 75% of credit.
Assessments must be submitted in electronic format through the Moodle site.
The course has a moodle page at https://moodle-1819.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=7067.
The Moodle site will contain links to course notes, lecture slides, readings, and to additional resources.
The course handbook is written as a set of web pages and can be found at: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/courses/pals0009/.
The web design used for the course handbook is designed to be readable on portable devices.
Course notes will not be printed. They contain many web links and interactive multimedia that are lost on printing. If you require a printed version you will need to print them yourself.
The course notes will index a range of web sites containing useful information about the topics. Use these to help develop your understanding of the concepts covered.
Each week a small number of readings will be set. Students should strive to read as much as possible around the topics covered on the course. Readings will be described as "Essential" or "Background". Where possible, essential readings will be made available on-line.
The course notes also contain a 'Reflections' heading which you can use to test your understanding of the material. If you are confused by any of these, bring your questions to the tutorial.
Use the Moodle Discussion forum for any specific questions you have outside the tutorial time. Also post messages if you find other interesting web sites relevant to the course.
Recommended Text Books
If you purchase any of these from Amazon using the supplied links, you will be supporting the web site www.speechandhearing.net.
- An Introduction to the Science of Phonetics (Nigel Hewlett & Mary Beck, 2006).
- A general introduction to articulation, sound, hearing and perception that meshes well with the scientific approach to the material that we take in the course.
- Vowels and Consonants (Peter Ladefoged & Sandra Disner, 2012)
- An excellent introduction to Phonetics for the novice. It is not so great when it comes to the acoustics of speech compared to Hewlett and Beck.
- Sounds of Language (Elizabeth Zsiga, 2013)
- An introductory textbook for Phonetics and Phonology that also includes speech acoustics and hearing. Includes much more Phonology than either of the other two text books. This book is also used in the second year speech science course.
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