First part of this course is an introduction to the study of semantics on both word and sentence level. The second part gives insights into theories of language use, particularly the part of pragmatics dealing with how you communicate more than you literally say or write. This course is aimed at developing an understanding of the relationship between language and meaning on word, sentence and utterance level furthermore learning semantic theories about the understanding of different aspects of meaning in words are also included in this course. It also caters pragmatic theories about how language users achieve their goals in verbal interaction with others.

Course Contents:

  • Early theories of meaning (Ogden and Richards; Ferdinand de Saussure)
  • Types of meaning
  • Semantic field
  • Componential analysis
  • Sense Relations/ Lexical Relations (Hyponymy; Synonymy; Antonymy; Homonymy and Polysemy)
  • Syntactic Semantics (Contradiction, Ambiguity, Semantic anomaly, Entailment, Presupposition)
  • Speech act theory complex speech acts
  • Felicity conditions
  • Conversational implicature
  • The cooperative principle
  • Conversational maxims
  • Relevance
  • Politeness
  • Phatic tokens
  • Deixis

Recommended Readings:

  1. Burton-Roberts, N. (Ed.), (2007). Pragmatics. Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Cruse, A. (2011). Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. (Third edition). Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics.
  3. Davis, S. & Gillon, S. B. (2004). Semantics: A Reader. Oxford University Press.
  4. Griffiths, P. (2006). An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh University Press Ltd.
  5. Geeraerts, D. (2010). Theories of Lexical Semantics. Oxford University Press
  6. Howard, G. (2000). Semantics: Language Workbooks. Routledge.
  7. Hudson, R. (1995). Word Meaning. New York and London: Routledge
  8. Huang, Y. (2007). Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.