Unit One 7/30

Definitions and Foundational Concepts

This unit introduces you to the basic concepts in Phonology such as the notion of phoneme, minimal pair and the phonemic analysis.

Unit Two 6/30

Phonological segments

This unit covers phonological segments, phonological premises and phonological analysis.

Unit Three 6/30

Syllables and suprasgemental features

This unit introduces syllables, types of syllables and problems of syllabification. It re-presents suprasgemental features briefly.

Unit Four 6/30

Phonological features

How phonemes are distinguished from each other? That is what you are going to learn in this unit.

Unit Five 5/30

Phonological rules and processes

About this course

Phonology is the study of the systematic patterns in the sound system of a given language. This course introduces you to the fundamental concept in linguistic phonology.


Mohammed Modhaffer
Assistant Professor


What background should I have to join this course?

It is preferred that you have some background in phonetics. We provide a course in phonetics for free. Check the course catalogue.

Study the materials, pass the exams and submit your assignments.Submitting assignments is an optional. You can consider submitting assignments if you want to improve your skills in research and have feedback on your writings. 

In order to pass the course and get a certificate of completion, you must score at least 50 out of 100.

Yes you can retake as many time as you can until you get a certificate.

This course offers a full-time 3 credits. It is equivalent to a paper in a Masters of Arts degree specialization.

The marks are calculated as follows: 

1. First Internal Assessment: 20 Marks.

2. Second Internal Assessment: 20 Marks.

3. Final Exam: 60 Marks.

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Unit I

Relationship between phonetics and phonology, the notion of phoneme, phoneme and phone, allophones, contrastive and complementary distribution, minimal pair, phonetic similarity

Unit II

Phonological segments, types of segments, Pike’s phonemic premises, phonemic analysis, free variation, discovery procedure

Unit III

Syllables, types of syllables, difficulties of syllabification, suprasegmental features, stress, intonation, rhythm

Unit IV

Archiphoneme, distinctive features, Chomsky and Halle’s classification of distinctive features: sonorants, consonantals, vocalic, approximants, place of articulation features, manner of articulation features

Unit V

Phonotactic constraints, phonological rules, rule ordering, phonological processes

Recommended Books

  1. David Odden. (2013). Introducing Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Edmund Gussmann. (2002). Phonology: Analysis and Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Iggy Roca and Wyn Johnson. (1999). A Course in Phonology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

  4. John Clark, et. al. (2007). An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. MA: Blackwell Publishing.

  5. Beverely Collins and Inger M. Mees. (2013). Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students. New York: Routledge.

  6. Mike Davenport and S. J. Hannahs. (2010). Introducing Phonetics and Phonology. New York: Routledge.