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Linguistics 2: English Phonetics and Syntax


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course offers an introduction to the phonetics and the syntax of modern English. In the first part of this course we continue our examination of English speech sounds. We will focus in particular on how the pronunciation of sounds differs depending on their position in the word. The second part of the course examines the sentence structure of English. We consider among other things the building blocks (constituents) of sentences and phrases, word classes, functions of constituents, different types of sentences and different verb types.

Course objectives

In the first part of the course, students:

  • learn about the sounds and syllables of English

  • deepen their understanding of the phonetics of vowels and consonants

  • learn to do phonemic and phonetic transcriptions

  • gain a basic understanding of the field of acoustic phonetics
    In the second part of the course, students:

  • learn about word classes

  • learn to analyze the internal structure of phrases and sentences

  • learn to identify verb types

  • gain familiarity with structural analysis of English grammar


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lecture (1 hour per week) and tutorial (2 hours per week)

Assessment method


  • Mid-term (written) exam on phonetics (including a transcription assignment)

  • Final (written) exam on syntax.

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


  • Mid-term exam (50%)

  • Final exam (50%)


To pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for both the mid-term and the final exam. If the mark for either of the exams is 5.49 or lower, the exam will have to be retaken during the resit period.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

  • A syllabus (with weekly exercises, additional reading material, and the course programme) will be made available through Brightspace before the start of the course.

  • Knight, Rachael-Anne (2012). Phonetics: A coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (This is the same course book as for Linguistics 1).

  • Börjars, Kersti and Kate Burridge (2019) Introducing English grammar. London: Routledge.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.



Not applicable.