Spring 2018 - LING 324 D100

Semantics (3)

Class Number: 2281

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    RCB 6136, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    LING 222 and any lower division W course.



Basic formal aspects of meaning (e.g. compositional semantics, truth conditional semantics and quantification in natural language) and how they are distinguished from pragmatic aspects of meaning. Quantitative.


People use sentences to mean things: to convey information about themselves and about states of affairs in the world. This class provides an introduction to the study of how meaning is encoded and expressed in natural language. We will examine basic concepts in the study of formal aspects of meaning, e.g. compositional semantics, truth-conditional semantics and quantification in natural language. Basic formal tools and techniques in doing semantic analysis will be studied, supplemented by rigorous problem solving exercises. We will also discuss how formal aspects of meaning are distinguished from the pragmatic aspects of meaning: e.g., contextual dependence of meaning, speech acts and conversational implicature.


  • Homework Assignments 20%
  • Class Presentation 5%
  • Midterm 1 20%
  • Midterm 2 35%
  • Midterm 3 20%
  • No Final Exam


It is strongly recommended that you see the Student Advisor regarding your degree requirements at least two semesters before you plan to graduate. Unless you meet both faculty and major/minor requirements, your graduation cannot be approved.

Students should familiarize themselves with the Department's Standards on Class Management and Student Responsibilities at http://www.sfu.ca/linguistics/undergraduate/standards.html.
Please note that a grade of “FD” may be assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty.
All student requests for accommodations for their religious practices must be made in writing by the end of the first week of classes or no later than one week after a student adds a course.
Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (778-782-3112 or csdo@sfu.ca).



Chierchia, Gennaro and Sally McConnell-Ginet. 2000. Meaning and Grammar: an Introduction to Semantics, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2nd edition, ISBN: 878-0262531641

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html