Semantics and Pragmatics

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Sunday 15 January 2023
Friday 24 March 2023
23 March 2022


Requisites for this module


LG222, LG489

Key module for

BA QQ13 English Language and Linguistics,
BA QQ15 English Language and Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ3D English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
MLINQA15 English Language and Lingistics (Including Placement Year),
MLINQA16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
MLINQQ14 English Language and Linguistics,
BA Q100 Linguistics,
BA Q101 Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q103 Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA LQ31 English Language and Sociology,
BA RQ91 Modern Languages and Linguistics,
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R114 Language Studies and Linguistics,
BA R115 Language Studies and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q911 Translation, Interpreting and Cultural Mediation,
BA Q912 Translation, Interpreting and Cultural Mediation (including Foundation Year)

Module description

What is 'meaning' as it relates to words and sentences? How is the meaning of a sentence affected by the context it is produced in? These are the fundamental issues to be addressed in Semantics and Pragmatics. We examine the relationship between what is said and what is meant. The first part of the course will examine basic issues in Semantics. The second part of the course will examine the distinction between a speaker's words and what a speaker means by those words – the domain of pragmatics. It will consider the foundational concerns of pragmatics: deixis, implicature and speech act theory.

Module aims

The main aims of the module are:
• to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and theoretical foundations of the study of word, sentence and utterance meaning,
• to familiarise students with the basic analytic resources to study word meaning, sentence meaning, and utterance interpretation,
• to provide students with practical experience of applying the tools and techniques in the analysis of linguistic phenomena
• to familiarise students with a range of issues and debates in contemporary semantic and pragmatic theory and enable them to apply their knowledge in the investigation of other areas of linguistic study.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will:
1. Have an understanding of the theoretical foundations of Semantics and Pragmatics.
2. Be familiar with the study of meaning (Semantics and Pragmatics) through investigating aspects of sentence and utterance interpretation.
3. Be able to bring to bear a range of conceptual and analytical tools on Semantic and Pragmatic data.
4. Be able to sustain reasoned argumentation through exemplification of Semantic and Pragmatic concepts.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Two-hour lecture/seminar per week


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   2000 word essay  14/04/2023  80% 
Practical   Moodle Quiz    20% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Rebecca Clift, email: rclift@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Rebecca Clift & Dr Hannah Gibson
Dr. Rebecca Clift, 4.332, tel: 2888 Dr. Kyle Jerro, 4.125, tel: 2286



External examiner

Dr Sam Christian D'Elia
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Language and Linguistics

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