- UCAS course code
- UCAS institution code
BA English Language and English Literature
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Linguistics & English Language|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction||LELA20291||Pre-Requisite||Recommended|
Knowledge and understanding
By the end of this course students will:
- have gained knowledge of the empirical phenomena and issues central to the study of the formal semantics and pragmatics of natural language, in particular English;
- have deepened their understanding of the formal apparatus and theoretical concepts used in the study of natural language semantics and pragmatics;
- have developed their ability to understand formal analyses and test their predictions on novel data.
- the ability to critically read and synthesize published research articles;
- skills in problem-solving and abstract and logical thinking;
- the ability to construct and refine an argument, recognise flaws in arguments, and assessing the merits of contrasting explanations
- be able to present a rigorous linguistic argument;
- be able to apply formal tools and abstract concepts to empirical data;
- be able to apply the appropriate diagnostics for distinguishing between different types of meaning.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- the ability to formulate abstract generalisations from data and synthesize complex issues;
- the ability to manage their own learning self-critically;
- the skill and confidence of leading a class discussion;
- team working and presentation skills
- Oral communication
- Through the deep engagement with challenging research articles, students taking this class will further develop their reasoning and argumentation skills. By taking responsibility for the presentation and discussion of one article as part of a team, students develop their confidence in speaking in front of an audience and engaging in discussion in response to on-the-spot questions.
- The rigorous formalization of empirical insights from language data prepares students for jobs that involve data analysis and their understanding of formal representations of meaning in language will be useful in the development of software applications for natural language processing as well as for general coding.
|Group presentation in-class||20%|
|Weekly reading assignment with a short problem set||NA (formative)|
Formative or Summative
Global feedback on in-class and homework exercises
Comments made during class discussion regarding the relevance and coherence of student responses/participation in discussion
Global feedback on mid-term assignment
Individual feedback on mid-term assignment and final essay
- Angelika Kratzer (2012), Modals and Conditionals (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
- Paul Portner and Barbara Partee (2002, eds.), Formal Semantics: The Essential Readings (London: Blackwell).
- Jon Barwise & Robin Cooper (1981), “Generalised Quantifiers and Natural Language,” Linguistics & Philosophy, 4(2): pp. 159-219.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Martina Faller||Unit coordinator|