Course Description

Course Name

Acquisition of Spanish Phonetics and Phonology

Session: VSVF2221

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of four semesters (or six quarters) at the college level.


The aim of this Course is to offer the student an overall grasp of how Spanish is structured at an
expressional level, while studying, from a synchronically present-day perspective, both its substance
(Phonetics) and its form or representation (Phonology). In order to reach the proposed objective,
Standard Spanish will be used as a point of departure while, when necessary, on a contrastive basis,
account will be taken of social and dialectal variants, together with other languages, especially English.
In methodological terms, articulatory as well as acoustic criteria will be used in the definition of sounds
and phonemes. The exploration of the phonological component of the language will largely be based on
the theory of binary features developed by R. Jakobson and M. Halle.

1. The Architecture of Language and its Double Articulation: Expression and Content.
2. Acoustic Phonetics. The Acoustic Components of the Sounds of Language: Parameters of
Acoustics and Formant Structures.
3. Articulatory Phonetics: The Analysis of the Articulation of Sounds in Language. The Range of
Descriptive Systems. Phonetic Transcription.
4. The Phonetic System of Spanish.. Acoustic / Articulatory Values. Homogeneity and Compatibility.
Pairs of Contrastive Values. Relevant and Connected Values.
5. Spanish Phonology. Values of Relevance. Phoneme and Allophone. The System of Contrasts.
Intrinsic Content in Terms and Markedness Differentials in Variation. Types of Variation:
Privative, Equipollent, and Disjunctive. The Relation between Proportionality and Homogeneity.
The System of Correlations. The Study of the Vowel and Consonant Systems of Spanish. The
Phonetic Diasystems of Spanish..
6. The Structure of the Syllable in Spanish. Syllabic Classes.
7. Suprasegmental Phonetics and Phonology.
8. A Brief Diachronic Survey of the Phonetics and Phonology of Spanish.

*Course content subject to change