• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages, European Languages, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Communications, Latin American Languages
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Gwendolyn Hyslop
  • Mode of delivery Blended
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

Speech is the most important medium through which we convey our ideas, emotions and identity. To an untrained ear, languages can often sound very different from each other: Vietnamese from English, for example, or Arabic from Zulu. But the speech sounds of the world's languages do not vary without limit and are in fact built up according to fairly simple structural principles. Speech sounds are studied in the discipline of Phonetics. This course is both a theoretical and practical course in Phonetics. It teaches you about human speech sounds: how they are made by the human vocal tract; how they are transmitted acoustically; and how the speech acoustics are perceived. The course also has a strong practical focus: to show how one discovers the sounds of an unknown language from scratch. In order to do this, students learn how to produce and transcribe a large number of the speech sounds of the world's languages, including all the exotica of clicks, ejectives, implosives, tones and much more. You will also learn how to quantify some important speech acoustics with a computer. Finally, one very important applied aspect of phonetics is explained - Forensic Speaker Identification - together with the proper way of evaluating forensic evidence. A course website is used which includes unique materials designed by the lecturer to develop students' transcriptional and analytical skills. The lecturer is an acknowledged expert on the phonetics of Tone Languages, and also one of the world's leading forensic speech scientists.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Transcribe a wide range of speech sounds from the languages of the world using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  2. Produce a wide range of speech sounds from the world's languages.
  3. Describe speech sounds with the correct professional terminology.
  4. Properly record, digitally acquire and edit speech from an informant.
  5. Work with a native speaker to discover the speech sounds and sound system of nearly any of the world's languages from scratch.
  6. Quantify vowels and tones acoustically with professional speech analysis software.
  7. Know the logically correct way of evaluating the strength of evidence in support of a hypotheses; and how to estimate the probability of a hypothesis, given the evidence adduced in its support.
  8. Undertake guided research on a topic in Phonetics or Applied Phonetics.

Indicative Assessment

4 Transcription assignments (7.5% each), transcription test (20%), fieldwork transcription (12%), acoustic analysis (8%), major fieldwork project (30%). 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study per week over the semester (total 130 hours)

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LING1004 or LING2004 or LING2010. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

P. Ladefoged. A Course in Phonetics (Textbook & CD). Thomson. Latest Edition.

Preliminary Reading

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, Chapters 22-30


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1542
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3618
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6384 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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