Undergraduate Course: Phonetics

Course Description

SLPA-11010    Phonetics                                                                            NLA

An introduction to the study of speech sounds used in the production of American English. Emphasis is placed on (1) sound to symbol transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet, as well as (2) development of transcription speed and accuracy. Anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism are introduced for the purpose of describing speech sound production. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)


Selected Learner Objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. accurately define and use terminology related to phonetics
  2. mark syllabic stress patterns
  3. label and describe the functions of basic anatomical structures used in phonation, respiration, and articulation
  4. describe the manner/ voice/ place characteristics of consonants 
  5. broadly transcribe all vowels and consonants in  monosyllabic, bisyllabic, and multisyllabic words using the International Phonetic Alphabet
  6. use transcription conventions appropriately when transcribing words
  7. use selected diacritical markings during phonetic transcription
  8. describe the impact of context on sound production (e.g., understand how the consonants that surround the vowel change the way the vowel is produced during connected speech) and correctly transcribe words accordingly
  9. correctly apply terms that describe phonological processes; recognize the processes represented in transcribed or spoken words


Students who are registered in the SLP major when they enter Ithaca College as freshmen typically take Phonetics during their first year on campus, either in the fall or the spring. Students who transfer into the major take this course later in their course sequence. Phonetics is the pre-requisite for SLPA 22000 Articulation and Phonological Development and Disorders, which is offered in the spring semester.


The textbook for Phonetics is:

Small, Larry (2011). Fundamentals of Phonetics: A practical guide for students (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Also purchase the CDs that accompany this text.


The course description and selected learner outcomes are provided below. In addition to attending classes, students are required to attend one lab per week.

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