Course overview and goals

This course is a graduate introduction to the theory and practice of generative phonology. Students will develop first-hand experience with phonological analysis and the construction and evaluation of linguistic models through frequent exercises and problem sets. Assigned readings include both introductory materials and articles from the primary phonology literature.

Please note: Unlike many 500-level courses in the Linguistics department, Ling 523 is specifically intended for graduate students. Undergraduate students who do not have significant prior background in linguistics or phonological analysis usually enroll in Ling 200, which is the phonology course for undergraduate majors. Students who have completed Ling 200 are not eligible to count Ling 523 toward the undergraduate major — but they are welcome to take Ling 524 (Phonological Theory II) when it is offered!


The prerequisite for this course is Ling 520 (Linguistic Phonetics) or the equivalent.

What is the difference between phonology and phonetics?

The two disciplines are closely related and often overlap. But in general, phonetics focuses more on the physical realization (articulation and acoustics) and perception of speech sounds, while phonology focuses more on the mental representation of speech sounds and their systematic patterns within and across languages.