Clay tablet (PY Ub 1318) inscribed with Linear B script, from the Mycenaean palace of Pylos.

Specialty Phonetics and Phonology (PhPh)

Phonetics and phonology are the subfields of linguistics that study the sound systems of languages, from the production and perception of speech to the emergence of phonological representation and phonological systems. They cover the study of the acoustic and articulatory properties of sounds and the formal analysis of sound patterns and their diversity in the languages of the world. The Phonetics and Phonology specialty focuses on phonetics and phonology within the broader context of general linguistics.

The Master's degree in Language Sciences with a specialty in Phonetics and Phonology is a research-oriented program. It offers advanced theoretical and experimental training, including in the analysis of speech acoustics, articulation, and perception, also leading to more applied fields. Courses are taught in the Linguistics Department on the Campus Grands Moulins, and at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. This is a joint specialty offered by both institutions through a formal agreement.

The program offers solid theoretical training in conjunction with the introduction of advanced experimental methods. Experimental work is carried out in the phonetics laboratory.

Supervisors of the Ph&Ph specialty: Ioana Chitoran, Hiyon Yoo

For French presentation

Within the Master's degree in Language Sciences, the Phonetics and Phonology specialty aims to train researchers in general linguistics with an expertise in phonetics and phonology. The program prepares students for a variety of professions: linguistic research, research in language teaching, professions involving language, speech (speech pathology), communication, language policy (regional languages and accents, European integration, etc.), professions involving the acoustic analysis of speech, etc.

  • Developing synthetic and analytical skills (describing and explaining linguistic processes);
  • Formulating original research questions;
  • Formulating research hypotheses in relation to theoretical frameworks and designing rigorous experimental methods to test the hypotheses;
  • Learning to do quantitative and qualitative analyses of production and perception data collected in the laboratory or in the field.

This is a two-year program (two semesters per year), including courses in general linguistics and courses specialized in phonetics and phonology. All classes are "English-friendly", involve readings primarily in English. Writing in English is possible and encouraged.

Two research papers are required: a shorter one at the end of the first year, and a longer one, which includes a defense, at the end of the second year.

A research internship is mandatory.

The goal of the internship is to introduce the student to a larger-scale research project in phonetics and phonology. According to the student’s interests, s/he may conduct the internship in a company or in a research lab affiliated with a university. The student will participate in ongoing research, and will be involved in the details of specific experiment setups, data collection, and analysis of results.

Target audience

Students planning to do research in linguistics or planning to pursue a language-related profession.

Degrees required for first year admission
  • 3rd year Bachelor's degree in Language Sciences (SDL at Université de Paris);
  • 3rd year Bachelor's degree in Language Sciences (SDL) or “Lettres” from a different university;
  • Other degrees: Humanities; Languages with an SDL option; Philosophy; Psychology, others
Degrees required for registration in 2d year

Master 1 in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics or Speech processing

Conditions for admission

The application file should contain a copy of the students’ degree, their CV and a cover letter specifying the research project. The application is reviewed by the admissions committee.

Admission is conditional on a level of English sufficient to read a scientific article, to understand and participate in a discussion of such an article in English.

Applicants who have not completed a linguistics (SDL) undergraduate degree are encouraged to mention any previous coursework in areas related to linguistics.

Higher level studies: PhD program, depending on results

Professional integration: professions involving language research; language teaching; speech analysis