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BA Linguistics / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Study of Meaning
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Linguistics & English Language|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course unit will provide an introduction to the conceptual, empirical and formal foundations of the study of meaning. We will look at how sentence meaning is composed from the meanings of the words it contains and how it relates to the situations in the world it describes. We will learn about the structure of the lexicon, lexical meaning relations, and the role of metaphor and metonymy in meaning extension. In addition, we will look at how context contributes to the resolution of lexical and structural ambiguity and the reduction of vagueness. Students will also be introduced to empirical approaches to the study of meaning.
Knowledge and understanding
- accuracy of analysis,
- distinguishing between different dimensions of meaning, and
- identifying logical relations between sentences
- identifying different types of meaning in texts
- using different sources of data,
- providing concise and precise argumentation orally and in writing.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- awareness of the communicative impact of word choice and choice of expressions,
- argumentation using empirical evidence, and
- awareness of cross-linguistic differences.
- The ability to discuss meaning differences between individual words and between utterances is relevant to a range of professions including language teaching, speech and language therapy, law, journalism, and any other career involving written texts, spoken argumentation, or intercultural communication. The analytical and problem solving skills developed in this class are a life skill that will be useful in any job.
|x2 online tests||50%|
|Weekly exercise sheet||N/A (formative)|
- James R. Hurford, Brendan Heasley & Michael B. Smith (2007), Semantics: A Coursebook, 2nd ed.
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
- Thomas E. Zimmermann & Wolfgang Sternefeld (2013), Introduction to Semantics:
An Essential Guide to the Composition of Meaning (Berlin: De Gruyter).
- Sebastian Löbner (2013), Understanding Semantics, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge).
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Martina Faller||Unit coordinator|