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Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Phonetics and Phonology: A broad overview

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and NPTEL via Swayam


This course will provide the foundation for the development of a student’s knowledge on phonetics and phonology. A proper introduction of the theoretical underpinnings and conceptual framework of the scientific study of sound systems and its analysis will be the main focus of this course. It will provide a detailed overview of phonetic properties, articulatory and acoustic descriptions and International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcription of the sounds in the languages of the world. It also deals with phonological theory and covers many aspects of phonemics, phonological representations, features phonological alternations. Finally, the students will learn about many of these concepts with the help of data analysis and problem-solving. We will include examples from Indian languages to make the material more relevant to the students.
Engineering Undergraduates or undergraduates in any discipline looking to learn about language and speechPREREQUISITES : NoneINDUSTRIES SUPPORT :Speech Technology industry which needs input in language and speech



Week 1:Human speech apparatus - Articulation of vowels and consonants, representation of sounds. Week 2:Sounds of the world’s languages: Language endangerment and language varietiesWeek 3:Properties of sound: Acoustic analysis: Fourier transform, source-filter theory Resonance, spectrograms, vowels and vowel charts Acoustic properties of consonants and vowelsWeek 4:Speech perception:Basic overview of speech perception Categorical perception, VOT and phonetic knowledge Linguistic knowledge Phonetic coherence
Week 5:Identifying phonemes Phonemic analysis: phonemes, allophones, free variants Sonority, Syllables & principles of syllabificationWeek 6:Natural class of sounds Distinctive Features & their hierarchical organization Markedness & Underspecification Rewrite rules and rule orderingWeek 7:Phonological alternations Phonological processes (word level processes such as harmony, other local assimilation processes, voicing alternations etc.)Principles of phonological analysis and Morphophonemic rulesWeek 8:Suprasegmentals: pitch, intensity and duration Tone languages and pitch accent languages Intonation – sentence level prosody Intonational phonology

Taught by

Prof. Shakuntala Mahanta

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