Logo Students

LING2217 – Introductory Phonetics and Phonology

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor and Lecturer
Anita Szakay
Titia Benders
Linda Buckley
Louise Ratko
Ryssa Moffat
Administrative Contact
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
LING110 or LING111 or LING1111
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

In this unit we explore the incredible range of sounds that humans use to create language. We'll discuss how speech sounds are produced by the vocal mechanism, how different languages use different sets of sounds, and how speech sounds are structured in language. You'll learn about how speech gestures combine and overlap to generate sound that humans are uniquely able to interpret as sentences, words, syllables, consonants, and vowels. You'll learn how to use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent the sounds of the world's languages, and how to analyse sets of phonetic data to explore patterns of sound structure in language.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: successfully use the International Phonetic Alphabet
  • ULO2: perform broad (phonemic) and narrow (phonetic) transcription tasks
  • ULO3: demonstrate an understanding of speech articulation
  • ULO4: classify speech sounds through a thorough understanding of the major characteristics of vowels and consonants
  • ULO5: show an understanding of the distinction between phonemes and allophones through problems in phonemic analysis
  • ULO6: show some of the ways that languages and dialects differ in both their phoneme inventories and the pronunciation of their phonemes
  • ULO7: demonstrate an understanding of the concept of coarticulation
  • ULO8: illustrate the close relationships between phonetics/phonology and social factors
  • ULO9: explain the structure of syllables and how phonotactic constraints result in different sets of legal syllables for different languages
  • ULO10: demonstrate a basic understanding of the phonology of intonation
  • ULO11: engage in a research rich environment

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information


  • Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 3% of the total mark available for the assessment task per day including weekend days (i.e. this is 3% of the total marks possible for the task – NOT 3% of the marks the student received. For example, if the assessment task is worth 100 marks and you are two days late your mark for the task is reduced by 6 marks.)
  • Late submission of an assessment task without an extension will not be accepted at all after the date on which marked assessment tasks have been released to the rest of the class. Any student with unsubmitted work at this date will receive a mark of 0 for the assessment task.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation.
  • Extensions that will result in submissions after the assessment task has been returned to the class will require a separate assessment task to be completed at the unit convenor's discretion.
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://student s.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration
  • If you fail the unit due to non-submission of an assignment or non-attendance at an exam, an FA grade will be applied in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy.

Submission of all assessment tasks is a requirement.

It is a requirement of this unit that students make a serious attempt to complete all assessment tasks. Failure to make a serious attempt to complete all assessment tasks may result in failure in the whole unit even if the total marks for completed tasks add up to more than 50%. Failure results from the learning outcomes of the unit not being met.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


The learning and teaching strategies used in this Unit are structured around a textbook, an extensive set of interactive text, image and audio based online materials as well as lectures (including ECHO360 and associated Powerpoint presentations) and tutorial participation.

Text: Cox, F. & Fletcher, J. (2017) Australian English: Pronunciation and Transcription, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.


Tutorials commence in Week 1. Each student will attend one tutorial per week. Attendance at tutorials is expected and rolls will be taken. Learning the skill of phonetic transcription and the concepts necessary to gain a solid understanding of phonetics and phonology takes dedication, practice, and engagement. We are here to support your learning and we can only do this successfully through face to face contact with you to guide you through the materials. You must be prepared to attend and actively engage in the learning process with your teachers and peers.

Attendance at lectures is also very important in this unit as it can be extremely difficult to grasp the complexities of speech sound production through audio (ECHO recordings). You will do yourself a disservice if you don't attend lectures. We make lectures highly engaging and interactive which you can't experience if you are not present.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.