Fall 2023 - LING 324 B100

Semantics (3)

Class Number: 2721

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    LING 282W; or 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 introduces 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 and conversational implicature. 

MODE OF DELIVERY/ INSTRUCTION: This course will be blended in person and asynchronous. Exercises and quizzes will be available asynchronously in Canvas for a minimum of one hour per week based on course readings and other support material such as podcast. There will be an in-person class each week dedicated to the discussion of class materials and to working on small group exercises and cross-linguistic research projects. Regular office hours will be held on Zoom. 


TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED: Computer, Microphone (for office hours), Internet. 


  • 12 Weekly asynchronous assignment sets [individual] At Home/Canvas. 48%
  • 12 Weekly synchronous exercise/discussion sets [small groups] In person 24%
  • 2 Cross-linguistic documentation class projects [small groups] At Home/Canvas 24%
  • 4 Community building surveys/presentations [individual] At Home/Canvas 4%


Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion. 




Kroeger, Paul. 2022. Analyzing meaning: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Third edition. (Textbooks in Language Sciences 5). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.6855854 


Additional readings and on-line resources will be provided on Canvas and in the Library. 


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students should familiarize themselves with the Department's Standards on Class Management and Student Responsibilities.

Please note that a grade of “FD” (Failed-Dishonesty) 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.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.