Ling 313 Phonological Analysis

Dr. Nick Danis,
Washington University in St. Louis


“There are several important abilities involved in the use of human language, one of these being the ability to organize speech sounds. The system that the brain uses to accomplish this task is the subject matter of phonology. This course will explore phonology from several perspectives within generative linguistics, including both traditional rule-based and current Optimality Theoretic approaches. Topics to be discussed include phonological features, lexical phonology, prosodic morphology, tone, and metrical stress. Assignments will help students learn to analyze phonological problems in a variety of languages and to evaluate the consequences of using different analytic approaches. Prerequisite: Ling 170D or permission of instructor.”

Course Info

Course Number L44 Ling 313
Semester Fall 2021
Time T-R 1-2:20pm
Location McDonnell 362
Office January 206 / Zoom
Office Hours W 1-2pm

Course delivery

This class is taught in-person, and attendance is required. However, please prioritize your health and the health of your peers over any academic obligations. I’m happy to work together to make sure you don’t fall behind or aren’t unnecessarily penalized. Communication is key, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Please read the section on covid health protocols carefully.


  • Understand fundamentals of phonological theory
  • Identiy and model basic phonological alternations
  • Create generative segmental and prosodic representations

Required Materials

The primary textbook for this course is listed below. Any additional readings will be posted as PDFs.


Your grade breakdown is shown below.

Item pct
Assignments 60%
Participation & group work 20%
Final 20%

Assignments are assigned (roughly) weekly. The lowest grade is dropped.


Unexcused late work incurs a penalty of 0.5% deducted for every hour late (as calculated by the Canvas overlords). This (roughly) translates to one letter grade (and change) each day. Excused late work is a different matter; please contact me as soon as you suspect circumstances will prevent you from completing work on time.

Letter grades

Letter grades are assigned based off the following scale. Numerical grades are not rounded.

  • 100 ≥ A+ ≥ 98
  • 98 > A ≥ 93
  • 93 > A- ≥ 90
  • 90 > B+ ≥ 87
  • 87 > B ≥ 83
  • 83 > B- ≥ 80
  • 80 > C+ ≥ 77
  • 77 > C ≥ 73
  • 73 > C- ≥ 70
  • 70 > D+ ≥ 67
  • 67 > D ≥ 63
  • 63 > D- ≥ 60

If you are taking this class pass/fail, you must receive at least a C- (70%) to pass.

If you believe there has been an error in grading, I am happy to discuss it with you. However, you must bring it up to me within one week of the graded assignment being returned to you. After this, the grade is considered final.


Below is a rough schedule of the course material, and is likely to change. Please see Canvas for all precise and up-to-date readings and assignment due dates.

Date Day Lecture Reading
8/31/2021 Tue Intro/Phonetics Hayes 1/2
9/2/2021 Thu Phoneme  
9/7/2021 Tue Phoneme Hayes 3
9/9/2021 Thu    
9/14/2021 Tue Features Hayes 4
9/16/2021 Thu    
9/21/2021 Tue Morphology Hayes 5
9/23/2021 Thu    
9/28/2021 Tue Alternation I Hayes 6, 7
9/30/2021 Thu Alternation II  
10/5/2021 Tue Morphophonemic Analysis Hayes 8
10/7/2021 Thu    
10/12/2021 Tue FALL BREAK  
10/14/2021 Thu Underspecification  
10/19/2021 Tue Tone Hayes 15
10/21/2021 Thu    
10/26/2021 Tue Autosegmental Phonology Understanding Phonology
10/28/2021 Thu    
11/2/2021 Tue Optimality Theory Zsiga ch 14
11/4/2021 Thu    
11/9/2021 Tue Syllables Hayes 13, Doing OT 1
11/11/2021 Thu    
11/16/2021 Tue Syllables Doing OT 2
11/18/2021 Thu    
11/23/2021 Tue Stress  
11/25/2021 Thu THANKSGIVING  
11/30/2021 Tue Stress in OT  
12/2/2021 Thu    
12/7/2021 Tue Naturalness  
12/9/2021 Thu    

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

Exceptions to course attendance policies, expectations, and requirements because of a COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or exposure to a person with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis that requires quarantine or isolation will be made in collaboration between the student and instructor. In these cases, please notify your instructor as soon as possible to discuss appropriate accommodations.

While on campus, it is imperative that students follow all public health guidelines established to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our community. The full set of University protocols can be found at This includes:

  • Completing a self-screening using the WashU COVID-19 Screening app every day before coming to campus or leaving your residence hall room. If you do not receive a green check and pass the screening, you are not permitted to come to campus or leave your residence hall room. You must contact the COVID Call Center (314-362-5056) or the Habif Health and Wellness Center (314 935-6666) immediately. Note: In addition to the symptoms listed in the screening tool, everyone also should pay attention to symptoms that are new or different for you, including things like headache and congestion, particularly in combination with diarrhea. These can also be signs of COVID-19. Call the COVID Call Center or Habif to report these symptoms.
  • Complying with universal masking. All individuals on campus must wear disposable masks or cloth face coverings while occupying indoor public settings, including: multi-person offices, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms and restrooms. Masks are encouraged but not required for outdoor activities, particularly at large events or in crowded settings. Students with disabilities for whom masked instructors or classmates create a communication barrier are encouraged to contact Disability Resources () or talk to their instructor for assistance in determining reasonable adjustments. Adjustments may involve amplification devices, captioning, or clear masks but will not allow for the disregard of mask policies.
  • Maintaining physical distancing as needed. While distancing requirements have been removed for vaccinated students, those who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged, for their own health, to maintain a distance of 6 ft from others in the classroom. If you are not able to be vaccinated or have conditions that may put you at increased risk of failed immunity and classroom activities would bring you in frequent proximity to other students, contact your instructor to discuss alternatives.
  • Practicing healthy personal hygiene, including frequent handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and/or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Academic Integrity

This course adheres to the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, and takes cheating and plagiarism very seriously. All work completed online must be done alone unless instructed otherwise, and no resources not approved by the instructor may be used during exams.

ADA Compliance

Washington University is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. Students who are seeking support for a disability or a suspected disability should contact Disability Resources at 935-4153. Disability Resources is responsible for approving all disability-related accommodations for WU students, and students are responsible for providing faculty members with formal documentation of their approved accommodations at least two weeks prior to using those accommodations. I will accept Disability Resources VISA forms by email and personal delivery. If you have already been approved for accommodations, I request that you provide me with a copy of your VISA within the first two weeks of the semester. Please see more information at

Sexual Assault Resources

The University is committed to offering reasonable academic accommodations (e.g., no contact order, course changes) to students who are victims of relationship or sexual violence, regardless of whether they seek criminal or disciplinary action. If you need to request such accommodations, please contact the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center (RSVP) at or 314-935-3445 to schedule an appointment with an RSVP confidential, licensed counselor. Information shared with counselors is confidential. However, requests for accommodations will be coordinated with the appropriate University administrators and faculty. Please see more information at