3 x 60-minute lectures weekly
1 x 60-minute tutorial weekly
SPTH1506 - Linguistics and Phonetics 1
Enrolment not permitted
SPTH1507 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Test(s)
Topic description

The topic builds on SPTH1506 Linguistics & Phonetics 1. It presents an introduction to (1) the grammatical analysis of English sentences; (2) the phonetics and phonology of English, with particular reference to connected speech and (3) the acoustic analysis of speech signals and their quantitative measurement. Issues covered include: connected speech processes, feature geometry, analysis of prosody, grammatical categories and functions, the structure of noun phrases, verb phrases, adverbials and complex sentences, sentence semantics, pragmatics, wave form and spectral analysis, source-filter theory and digital speech processing. Students will also acquire practical skills in syntactic analysis, phonetic transcription, and the measurement and analysis of speech signals using signal processing software.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Present a basic knowledge of the syntax of simple and complex English sentences and the relevant linguistic terminology
  • Develop basic analysis skills in order to apply that knowledge in the description of such sentences
  • Present a basic knowledge about the phonetics of connected speech and develop basic phonetic transcription skills
  • Present a basic understanding of the nature of speech sounds as physical events
  • Enhance understanding of how linguistics and phonetics relate to other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, anatomy, physiology, audiology, and speech pathology
  • Enhance appreciation of how the science of linguistics relates to other important aspects of being human
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an introductory level of linguistic knowledge about the syntax, phonology and phonetics of connected speech by appropriate understanding and use of linguistic terminology and by the application of that knowledge to practical problem solving
  2. Analyse simple and complex English sentences using basic syntactic analysis skills
  3. Transcribe Australian English connected speech as it is spoken, using the appropriate International Phonetic Association symbols
  4. Describe the relation of vocal tract shape and vocal tract gestures to the sound that results
  5. Describe how the acoustic analysis of speech may be used to characterise variations in sounds and speakers including "accidental" variation
Demonstrate basic skills in the computer-assisted manipulation, measurement and analysis of speech signals, using standard signal processing software

  • Describe how the science of linguistics relates to (a) at least one important aspect of being human and (b) the other topics in the course
  • Key dates and timetable

    (1), (2)

    Each class is numbered in brackets.
    Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

    Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


    If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
    contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

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    If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

    Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

    Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
    Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
      Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.