Introduction to linguistics
The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
The course gives an overview of the different theoretical and methodological approaches to semantics and pragmatics. Traditional approaches in lexical and sentence semantics are confronted with the more recent advances in discourse and cognitive semantics, thus opening the way to pragmatic theories.
At the end of the course, the students should:
- have developed knowledge of the explanatory principles and foundations in semantics and pragmatics,
- have developed the ability to transfer theoretical linguistic knowledge of semantics to everyday language situations,
- have acquired a good understanding of the different approaches in semantics and pragmatics.
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
After a brief overview of semantics in linguistics, the course considers the role of semantics on the different levels of abstraction in the linguistic system: lexical semantics (word meaning: componential analysis vs. prototype theory), situation semantics (sentence meaning: reference, entailment, propositional logic), and discourse semantics (implicature, cohesion and coherence). Also, a general overview is given of cognitive semantics (conceptual metaphor theory, image schema's, mental spaces) and a number of pragmatic theories (speech act theory, relevance theory). All theoretical concepts are illustrated with concrete everyday language examples.
The course contains ex catheadra lectures but it also requires the students active participation in resolving exercices to be realised with the DVD « Langue et Parole » (parcours « sémantique »)
training exercises will also be given in class.
Written exam (33% exercices, 67% theoretical questions)
Complete syllabus available
Available on Moodle