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Queen's University

LING 415/3.0


The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts and tools of analysis in semantics. Students will learn to recognize and identify different features of word meaning and a variety of semantic relations between words and sentences. The characteristics of logical relations and truth-function semantics and the role these play in the interpretation of words and sentences will be discussed.

  • PREREQUISITE: 1.0 300-level credit in Linguistics; or LING 100 and third-year standing in the Cognitive Science program; or permission of the Instructor.

Instructor Dr. Charlotte Reinholtz
Office: 212B Kingston Hall
Telephone: 533-2119
Office Hours: TBA

Lecture: Monday 8:30-10:00, Thursday 10:00-11:30
Place: Kingston Hall, room 108

Course Objective:
This course is concerned with the study of natural language meaning. We begin with an introduction to different kinds of meaning, with special attention to linguistic meaning, sense, and reference. Following this, we will develop fundamental concepts and tools of analysis over nine sections, each focusing on a particular aspect of natural language meaning and its formal semantic analysis. Topics covered include logic, modality, definite and indefinite descriptions, aspect, and thematic roles.

Required Textbook:
Kearns, Kate. 2000. Semantics. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-23183-0 

Requirements and Evaluation:

There will be weekly readings, four written assignments, a midterm test, and a final exam. Progress will be evaluated based on the assignments, the midterm test and the final exam. They are weighted as follows:

Item Weight
Assignments 50%
Midterm Test 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Submission dates for assignments are binding and make-up assignments will not be offered. If you should miss one or more assignments owing to illness you will have the option of basing 100 per cent of your course grade on the final exam.

Grades are numerical and follow the scale: 80-100% A 65-79% B 50-64% C 0-49% F

Academic Integrity: Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the guidelines for Academic Integrity in the Arts and Science Calendar. 

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000