L541: Introductory Phonetics
Spring 2014

[General Information | Lecture | Lab ]

Instructor: Ken de Jong

Assistant instructor: Kuan-Yi (Jessica) Chao

Office: Memorial Hall 404

Office: Memorial Hall 406

Phone: 856-1307

Phone: na

E-mail: kdejong @ …

E-mail: kuanchao@ …

Office Hours: Wednesday 12:30 – 2:00

Office Hours: Tuesday, 9:30 – 11:30



Monday & Wednesday 2:30 – 3:45 pm

Ballantine 244


Thursday  2:30 – 3:45 pm

Memorial Hall 401


Friday 9:30 – 10:45 am



Friday 11:15 am – 12:30 pm


General Information:

Introductory Phonetics is designed to introduce students to the various facets of phonetic investigation.  In this course, we cover the basics of speech production and acoustics as they are relevant to the expression of linguistic structures, and develop basic skills for linguistic investigation of speech behavior.  The first part will focus on the segmental structure of speech, and will use the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) to structure our attention on the different facets of interest to language research.  The later part will focus on understanding the relationship between speech behavior and the acoustic signal.  Throughout the semester we will be dealing with quantitative aspects of phonological research.  Most important, we will introduce you to a range of acoustic techniques for analyzing speech behavior, and help you through a short experimental investigation of some linguistic phenomenon of your choice.

Required Texts:

Supplementary Texts:

You are not required to acquire these texts, though they are excellent references and will likely be useful supplements to the course work.


1.     Homework assignments: Homework assignments.  There will be weekly homework assignments (which will trail off toward the end of the semester in favor of the course project).  These assignments will entail performing various analyses, beginning with transcriptional analyses of speech.  Other parts will entail performing exercises related to the course project, and to various kinds of data related to subject matter in the lectures.

2.     Exams: There will be a mid-term and a final exam, and two transcription exams in the discussion sections. 

3.     A Term Project: This project will concern the acoustic investigation of a topic of your choice, filtered by Jessica, and me.  Projects will be done in collaboration with (usually) two others in the class, and will involve the collection of relevant records, data-extraction analyses of these, analysis of this data, and a thoughtful write-up of the project and its results.  More information on this project will be provided shortly -- including an appropriate schedule of events.

Grade calculation will be based on the following formula






Transcription exams










Click here to download the syllabus