Semantics and Philosophy of Language
Language and Linguistics
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
05 October 2023
Requisites for this module
MA Q16012 English Language and Linguistics,
MA Q10012 Linguistics
This module is intended to provide a basic introduction to formal semantics, a key component of modern linguistics. We assume no prior knowledge of semantics in this module, and no prior understanding of logic. In the early weeks we will spend time working on examples and exercises in class to provide some basic introduction to the use of logic in the analysis of natural language semantics. We will then examine a range of core topics concerning word and sentence meaning in contemporary semantics, with the focus on understanding what the issues are. Topics will include propositional and predicate logic, basic notions of predicate and modifier and of compositional meaning, the semantics of different types of noun phrases and natural language quantifiers. Other topics could include some of generalized quantifier theory, tense/aspect, referential opacity, and information structure.
The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the key topics in the field of semantics as well as the necessary basic formal tools to be able to engage with research in contemporary semantic research.
Learning outcomes: By the end of this module you will:
*be familiar with what constitutes the domain of semantics, and how it relates to other sub-fields of linguistics.
*have developed some understanding of the role of logics as tools in describing and analysing natural language semantics and some facility with using these tools.
*have been introduced to, and reflected upon, a number of key topics in semantics.
No additional information available.
10 x 2 hour class sessions.
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
||In Class Group Presentation
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.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Kyle Jerro, email: email@example.com.
Kyle Jerro & Fate O'Gara
Dr Ian Cunnings
University of Reading
Associate Professor in Psycholinguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 16 hours, 16 (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.
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