Singapore University of Social Sciences

Phonology (ELG359)


ELG359 Phonology looks at the study of the abstract representation of sounds in human languages. Additionally, the course looks at the relation between phonetics and phonology, and the application of phonology to language analysis. Key topics in this course include phonemic analysis, phonotactics and alternations, distinctive feature theory, rule-based and constraint-based approaches to phonology, suprasegmentals, and language acquisition and learning. Through this course, students will better appreciate the role of phonology in language studies, and will be equipped with technical and analytical skills for theoretical and pedagogical purposes.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Phonology: Abstraction, Contrast, Predictability
  • Phonotactics and Alternations
  • What is a Possible Language? Distinctive Features
  • Rules and Derivations in Generative Grammar
  • Constraint-based Phonology
  • Syllables and Prosodic Domains
  • Stress
  • Tone and Intonation
  • Variation

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the relation between phonetics and phonology.
  • Compare the phonological systems of different languages
  • Discuss the development of phonological theories
  • Examine the acquisition of language in terms of phonology
  • Construct linguistic explanations for language data
  • Apply the formalisms of generative phonology to derive surface pronunciations from underlying representations
  • Test and criticise existing phonological analyses
Back to top
Back to top