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180040 SE Introduction to Formal Semantics (2020S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: German

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 10.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 17.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 24.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 31.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 21.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 28.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 05.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 12.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 19.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 26.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 09.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 16.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 23.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Tuesday 30.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Formal semantics is the study of meaning, using logical-mathematical tools. The main objective of the course is to understand how competent speakers of a natural language such as German and English come to understand the meaning of simple expressions (words, morphemes) or complex expressions (compounds, phrases, sentences) of their language.

In the course we ask: What is meaning? What is truth-conditional semantics? What are the reasons for thinking that there is a compositional semantics for English to be found? We will introduce some of the central concepts of linguistics as well as some basic tools from syntax and set theory, which we will need for the analysis of the meaning of German expressions. The majority of the course will be devoted to investigating the semantic treatment of a variety of expression types in German.

This course is an introduction to the craft of doing formal semantics. We will focus on doing semantics and learning its central techniques. The course will be of interest, and very useful, for students of linguists as well as of philosophy.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- develop an understanding for the project of investigating the meaning of natural-language expressions with formal means
- to master some indispensable tools from set theory and logic
- know the standard analysis of the meaning of some functional expressions in German (such as relative pronouns, (in)definite articles [(in)definite descriptions], quantifiers)
- investigate the meaning of complex German expressions with the tools of truth-conditional semantics

Assessment and permitted materials

There will be 3 graded take-home exercise sheets during the semester and a final exam in class at the end of the semester.

Mit der Anmeldung zu dieser Lehrveranstaltung stimmen Sie zu, dass die automatisierte Plagiatsprüfungs-Software Turnitin alle von Ihnen im moodle eingereichten schriftlichen Teilleistungen prüft.

UPDATE 28 APRIL 2020 DUE TO HOME LEARNING:

We won't be able to have an analog final exam at the end of June. Instead, there will be 4 exercise sheets during the term. Your final grade will be the result of 3 graded exercise sheets, randomly chosen from your 4 submitted sheets.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Prior introductory knowledge of formal logic and/or philosophy of language will be very useful, but is not an official requirement.

Your grades on the exercise sheets will count 50% and your final exam 50% of your final grade.

Examination topics

The final exam will cover all material from the course script and the obligatory readings, which will be announced at the start of the semester.

Reading list

We will use my course script (available at the begin of the term) as well as:

Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer: Semantics in Generative Grammar. Blackwell, 1998

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:20