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Semantic Theory - LAN00024M

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Norman Yeo
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

An introduction to formal compositional semantics.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

In this course you will acquire a basic understanding of the formal techniques necessary for the construction of a compositional theory of meaning. You will achieve a basic fluency in the formal languages and you will appreciate the necessity for such rigorous techniques in the study of meaning.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should:

  • Display a basic understanding of the notion of quantification and its manifestations in natural language.
  • Display a basic understanding of set theory and its use in model-theoretic semantics.
  • Correctly use first order predicate logic to represent natural language sentences.
  • Derive compositional meaning through functional application and lambda calculus.
  • Further appreciate the importance of entailment and the distinction between entailments, presuppositions, and implicatures.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Exercises
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Exercises
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Re-assessment: exercises
N/A 100

Module feedback

Oral and written feedback. Model answers and commentaries on the VLE.

Indicative reading

Heim, I. & Kratzer, A. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.

Kearns, K. 2011. Semantics, 2nd Edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.



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.

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