This course familiarizes students with what it means to study meaning and use in natural language. By "meaning" we refer to the (for the most part, logical) content of words, constituents, and sentences (semantics), and by "use" we intend to capture how this content is implemented in discourse and what kinds of additional dimensions of meaning may then arise (pragmatics). Some of the core empirical phenomena that have to do with meaning are introduced: lexical (i.e., word) meaning, reference, quantification, logical inferencing, presupposition, implicature, context sensitivity, cross-linguistic variation, speech acts. Main course goals are not only to familiarize students with the basic topics in semantics and pragmatics but also to help them develop basic skills in semantic analysis and argumentation.
Patrick Muñoz -- Spring 2021
Yenan Sun -- Spring 2021