autumn 2018

HIF-3022 Phonology I - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 04.03.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

This course may be taken as a single course by students who meet the admission requirements for the MA programme in Theoretical Linguistics and/or the MA programme in English Linguistics and/or the MA programme in English Acquisition and Multilingualism.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements: Bachelor's Degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent qualification, in a language or linguistics, or a degree combining linguistics and literature, with a minimum of 80 ECTS of concentrated work in linguistics and/or language. Minimum average grade (in the Norwegian grading system) is C for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand and B for others.


Application code 9317 (Nordic applicants).

Course content

Provided that counting the languages of the world makes sense, we assume that approximately 6800 different languages are currently in use. These languages show an infinite but limited variation when it comes to syntax as well as phonology. When comparing languages we find that similar phenomena occur cross-linguistically, independently of whether the languages are related. This course is an introduction to the classification of languages both genetically (relatedness) and typologically (based on their structural characteristics).

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:


The student has:

  • The students should be able to show thorough knowledge of how the phonology subcomponent of a grammar interacts with other modules and how a phonological system is acquired in first language learning.


The student is able to / can:

  •  develop skills in analysing unfamiliar language data and in presenting their findings orally and in writing.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination: English.

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, seminars, project work.

Quality assurance: All courses undergo a halfway evaluation once in a 2-year period at the master`s level.


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam: 

Coursework requirements: 6 hand-in exercises.

The exam will consist of: 

Assessment method: A term paper of 7000 words, in Wiseflow. Performance in the course will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed.

A re-sit examination is offered in the event of an F grade. The deadline to register for a re-sit examination is January 15th for the autumn semester and August 15th for the spring semester. For the re-sit exam the student may submit a revised version of his/her term paper.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Zsiga, Elizabeth C. 2013. The Sounds of Language. An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell. Ch¿s 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16

Kager, René. 1999. Optimality Theory. Cambridge University Press. Oxford: Blackwell. Ch¿s 3, 4

Selected chapters from the following volumes:

Aronoff, Mark, and Janie Rees-Miller (eds.). 2001. The Handbook of Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.
De Lacy, Paul (ed.) 2007. The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Goldsmith, John 1995. The Handbook of Phonological Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.
Goldsmith, John, Jason Riggle & Alan C. L. Yu 2011. The Handbook of Phonological Theory. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hannahs, S.J. & Anna R. K. Bosch (eds.) 2018. The Routledge Handbook of Phonological Theory. Routledge.
McCarthy, John J. (ed.) 2004. Optimality Theory. A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
McCarthy, John J. 2008. Doing Optimality Theory. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Oostendorp, Marc van, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume & Keren Rice (eds.) 2011. The Blackwell Companion to Phonology. Blackwell.


Martin Krämer

Professor allmenn språkvitenskap
Telefon: +4777646501

Terje Morten Jørgensen

Studiekonsulent (nordisk, lingvistikk)
Telefon: +4777644224