GE2128 - The Sounds of the World’s Languages

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Linguistics and Translation
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
GE Area
Area 1: Arts and Humanities
Course Offering Term*:
Not offering in current academic year

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

This course brings awareness to students the richness of human speech sounds through (i) demonstrations of a wide variety of the sounds of the world’s languages and (ii) descriptions of the multifaceted - articulatory, physiological, acoustical, and linguistic - characteristics of speech sounds. Students will be taught to use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), an international standard system of notation for transcribing the sounds of the languages of the world. The knowledge of the IPA facilitates the learning of the sounds of foreign languages. Students will participate in the learning activities, such as (i) oral and listening practice of the sounds of different languages, (ii) transcribing sounds using the IPA symbols, (iii) carrying out simple acoustic analysis of speech sounds, and (iv) viewing the video clips of articulation mechanisms and examining the models of the structures of the vocal tract and larynx for speech production. Students will find the course useful not only for gaining knowledge of the sounds of the languages of the world, but also for building a career in teaching pronunciation of the sounds of foreign languages, speech therapy, and speech engineering.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 60%
Examination: 40%
Examination Duration: 2 hours
Detailed Course Information


Useful Links

Department of Linguistics and Translation