Summer 2021 - LING 324 D100

Semantics (3)

Class Number: 1213

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

    Fr 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM

  • Instructor:

    Trevor Block
    Office Hours: Regular office hours will be held on Zoom. Students will also be able to make appointments for private office hours on Zoom or other accessible platforms (Skype, Discord, Blackboard). 
  • 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.

This course can be completed synchronously or asynchronously. Live lectures will be held and recorded on Zoom during class hours each week, which will then be uploaded onto Canvas later in the day. Lecture attendance is not required.


  • Practice Exercises 10%
  • Assignments 55%
  • Asynchronous Open-Book Tests 35%


All seats are reserved for students in an approved Linguistics or Cognitive Science program as follows: 75% for Majors and 25% for Extended Minor, Minor, and Post-Baccalaureate (LING) Diploma students. This reserve remains in effect until March 28, 2021. After this date, any unfilled reserved spaces will become available to any approved LING/COGS program student meeting the prerequisite(s).

This course has an auto waitlist until the end of the first week of classes. Students will be added in priority order. The Department will remove non-program students on the waitlist without any notification during the initial 3 week registration release.

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.



: Computer, Microphone (for office hours).



No textbook; readings will be provided on Canvas.

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 web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they 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 ( or 778-782-3112).