General linguistics : semantics and pragmatics

lfial1560  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

General linguistics : semantics and pragmatics
5.00 credits
30.0 h
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.
Main themes
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.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 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.
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.
Teaching methods
The course contains ex catheadra lectures but it also requires the students active participation in resolving online exercices to be realised:  « Langue et Parole » (parcours « sémantique »)
Training exercises will also be given in class.
For certain chapters, a flipped classroom format will be progressively put in place in order to ensure active participation by all.
Evaluation methods
Oral exam (33% exercices, 67% theoretical questions)
Other information
English-friendly course: course taught in French but offering facilities in English.
Online resources
Slides, exercises and bibliography on Moodle
Disponible sur Moodle
Teaching materials
  • LFIAL1560: Sémantique et Pragmatique
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Minor in Linguistics

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English