Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Meaning

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology

DESCRIPTION The study-unit is concerned with two topics, which will be dealt with in turn during the year:

1. Semantics: When we informally think about linguistic meaning, we tend to confuse the meaning that is encoded in natural language expressions and sentences, with that which is communicated in context. The aim of semantic theory is to isolate those aspects of meaning that are language-internal and hence immune to contextual intrusions.

2. Pragmatics: Over and above semantic analysis, language is typically used to communicate meaning in context. This part of the unit aims at exposing students to mainstream theorising about linguistic pragmatics and familiarise them with the analysis of meaning during verbal communication.

Attending this introductory unit, students will develop a solid background in two core areas of linguistics, which are relevant to virtually all scientific analyses of language.

Study-unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to familiarise students with the terminology and tools needed for the analysis of linguistically encoded and communicated meaning.

During the lectures, the students will be assigned tasks that will help them exercise the skills acquired and deepen their understanding of the relevant concepts.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify the basic concerns, concepts, and terminology of linguistic semantics and pragmatics;
- understand how lexical, sentential and communicated linguistic meaning has been traditionally analysed;
- appreciate linguistic meaning in abstraction of its contexts of use as well as the significance of context in the study of communicated meaning;
- explore the connection(s) of semantics and pragmatics with each other.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- engage in semantic analysis of words and sentences;
- engage in pragmatic analysis of utterances and speech acts;
- apply the knowledge acquired in this unit to other fields of enquiry within linguistics, such as language acquisition or natural language processing.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main texts:
- Saeed, J. 2003. Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
- Huang, Y. 2007. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Supplementary readings:
- Blakemore, D. 1992. Understanding Utterances: An Introduction to Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. 1987. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Cruse, A. 2000. Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Grundy, P. 2000. Doing pragmatics. London: Edward Arnold
- Horn, L. & Ward, G. The Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Hurford, J.R., Heasley, B. & Smith, M.B. 2007. Semantics: A Coursebook (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Jaszczolt, K.M. 2002. Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse. London: Longman.
- Kaerns, K. 2000. Semantics. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
- Kempson, R.M. 1977. Semantic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Leech, G. 1974. Semantics. Penguin.
- Leech, G. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
- Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Loebner, S. 2002. Understanding Semantics. London: Edward Arnold.
- Loppin, S. 1996. The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Lyons, J. 1995. Linguistic Semantics: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Lyons, J. 1977. Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Mey, J.L. 1998. Concise Encyclopaedia of Pragmatics. Elsevier.
- Palmer, F.R. 1981. Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Thomas, J. 1995. Meaning In Interaction: An Introduction to Pragmatics. London: Longman.
- Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Quiz YR No 20%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 40%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 40%

LECTURER/S Stavros Assimakopoulos

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.