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Advanced Phonology 2


Admission requirements

Introductory (BA-level) courses in phonetics and phonology.


In this course we focus on the notion of sonority. Sonority plays an important role in traditional onset-rhyme approaches to syllable structure. For example, in a language like Dutch, complex onsets have rising sonority (fles ’bottle’, trap ‘stairs’) while complex codas have falling sonority (wolf ‘wolf’, hart ‘heart’). While sonority sequencing accounts for a sizeable portion of the phonotactic restrictions in syllables, the notion of sonority raises a number of questions, some of which have so far not received a satisfactory answer. For example, to what extent is the sonority scale universal, and to what extent is it language-specific? How should violations of sonority sequencing be accounted for? How does sonority, which is a scalar property, relate to feature contrasts, which are typically categorical? And what are the phonetic correlates of sonority? We will try to get a better insight into these issues by discussing a number of recent articles on sonority, syllable structure, and segmental phonology.

Course objectives

Insight into a number of recent developments in theoretical phonology.
Insight into the relation between phonetics and phonology
Insight into the relation between segmental and syllabic structure
Insight into the importance of data in phonological theorising.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Weekly two-hour seminar.

Assessment method


Presentation, in-term assignments, classroom participation (20%)
Final essay (80%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. In order to pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for the final essay.


If the mark for the essay is a 5.49 or lower, a resit essay must be submitted during the resit exam period, with a new topic. There is no resit for presentations and in-term assignments.

Inspection and feedback

Students are entitled to view their marked essay within a period of 30 days, following publication of the results.

Reading list

Brightspace will be used for general information pertaining to the course, e.g. the course programme, the presentation schedule, in-term assignments, etc.
A number of recent articles (to be announced)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website


Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies