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English Phonetics and Phonology

Class at Faculty of Arts |


* Winter semester

The subject of phonetics as a scientific discipline

The sound aspect of the communication process

Speech organs

Vocalic system, primary vowels

Diphthongs, modified vowels

Consonantal system, phonetic features



Affricates and nasals


Assimilation and coarticulation

Elision of speechsounds

Connected speech, boundary phenomena and juncture

* Summer semester

Syllable structure, phonotactics

Vowel reduction - the mid central vowel

Neutralization of systemic oppositions

Weak forms of synsemantic words

Word stress - acoustic nature, distribution

Stress in lexical derivations

Stress in lexical compounds

Rhythmical structure of utterances

Metrical structure of language and eurhythmy

Tone inventory of English

Intonation structure of tone-units

Linguistic functions of intonation

Affective functions of intonation


The course introduces the description of segmental and suprasegmental sound structure of English. After an elementary explanation of terminology and speech organs, the students learn the system of English speechsounds from the articulatory and perceptual viewpoints.

The acoustical viewpoint is presented only to a limited extent, while the functional viewpoint is covered especially in relation to comparing the major dialects of English. The description of individual speech segments is accompanied by basic orthographical principles of modern English.

The suprasegmental area emphasizes the standard stress and rhythm; the latter is analyzed and subsequently practiced along with specific features of reductions in English and resyllabification in connected speech. The information on English intonation is focused phonologically.

Course work includes continuous formation of new articulatory and closely related descriptive skills of the students.

Study programmes