Crash Course Linguistics 10 (Phonology)

How do sounds fit together?

Week 10’s Crash Course Linguistics video introduces viewers to the ways in which sounds work in larger systems.

Topics include phonemes, allophones, and some common phonological processes in spoken and signed languages. In this week's Thought Bubble, we learn about allophonic variation using the metaphorical example of the snowshoe hare. Closed captions are available in English.

For phonology videos that are better suited to providing testable course content, check out resources from TrevTutor, especially this introductory video about phonological rules and an entire video series about phonology, including more advanced topics. Computer-generated closed captions are available in English.

For a fun, conversational take on how sounds can combine in different languages, listen to Putting sounds into syllables is like putting toppings on a burger, a 29-minute Lingthusiasm episode. This episode is available wherever you prefer to find podcasts, and a transcript is available here.

For practice with allophones, take a look at Stopping and Flapping in Warlpiri, a problem from 2011 International Linguistics Olympiad competitions in North America and the United Kingdom (answers here). For practice with loanword adaptation, which often provides a fun illustration of phonotactic constraints, see Maori Loanwords, a problem from 2014 competitions in the same areas (answers at the end of the linked document).

Finally, see our past newsletter for a collection of video tutorials about slightly more advanced topics in phonology.

Coming next time, on December 4: resources about psycholinguistics!

Liz, Gretchen, and Lauren

About Mutual Intelligibility

Mutual Intelligibility is a project to connect linguistics instructors with online resources, especially as so much teaching is shifting quickly online due to current events. It's produced by Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch, with the support of our patrons on Lingthusiasm. Our editor is Liz McCullough.

Mutual Intelligibility posts will always remain free, but if you have a stable income and find that they’re reducing your stress and saving you time, we're able to fund these because of the Lingthusiasm Patreon and your contributions there.

For the 16 weeks of Crash Course Linguistics, Mutual Intelligibility will be sharing the video weekly, along with supporting resources. We will resume our regular link request and recommendations after the Crash Course Linguistics series. For more on how we usually operate, check out our about page.

If you have other comments, suggestions, or ideas of ways to help, please email mutual.intellig@gmail.com.