Accessibility statement

Introduction to Semantics - LAN00012C

« Back to module search

  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Julia Kolkmann
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The module aims to equip students with the basic conceptual and formal tools of semantics and to a lesser extent of pragmatics. Students will learn how to formulate limited hypotheses and test them using basic semantic tests.

Module learning outcomes

Knowledge outcomes

At the end of this module you will understand:

The distinction between different semantic levels (lexical, sentential, discoursal)

The relationship between syntax and semantics

The distinction between semantics and pragmatics

The relationship between words, concepts, and things/facts (sense, reference, extension/intension)

The importance of entailment and the distinction between entailment, presupposition and inference

The importance of truth and truth conditions

The importance and function of a formal metalanguage

Basic logical and set-theoretic concepts, operations and notation

Behavioural outcomes

You will be able to:

Distinguish between semantic anomaly and ungrammaticality

Apply semantic tests for entailment, implication and presupposition

Evaluate predicate logic formulae

Translate sentences of English into logic (and, to a lesser extent, vice-versa)

Write basic set-theoretic formulae

Construct a model

Identify well-formed formulae in propositional and predicate logic


Task Length % of module mark
Exercise set 1
N/A 20
Exercise set 2
N/A 20
Online Exam
Introduction to Semantics
N/A 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Reassessment: Introduction to Semantics
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback within 20 working days of submission.

Indicative reading

There is no set textbook for this module, but readings will be recommended by the lecturer. To prepare for semantics, have a look at Paul Elbourne’s (2011) book “Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics” (Oxford University Press).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.