James Pustejovsky
258 Volen Center
Office Hours: MW 2:30-4:00

Course Details:
Tuesday and Friday 12:10-1:30 pm
Volen Building 105

Teaching Assistant:
Livnat Herzig
110 Volen Center
Office Hours: TF 1:30-3:00 pm

Course Description

Linguistic semantics is the study of meaning as conveyed through language. The utterances made by speakers of a language are expressions of intentional and mindful activity. Communication through language is a reflection of our modeling of the environment and our attempt to understand reality with an innate logical machinery for reasoning and inference. We begin with the study of logic (natural deduction) and show how propositional and first-order logical systems provide a natural means for the formal interpretation of linguistic expressions. We then examine the semantic of logical inference in terms of model theory and semantic types. The major subject areas of semantics are covered, including quantification and plurality, anaphora and discourse, tense and aspect, ellipsis, and lexical semantics.


Semantics: An Introduction to Meaning in Language
Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, Paperback, 2009
Ronnie Cann, Ruth Kempson, Eleni Gregoromichelaki

Grading Information

Your grade for this class is based on several problem sets, in-class quizzes, and class participation. The breakdown is as follows:

Problem Sets (5) - 55%
In-class Quizzes (2) - 35%
Class Participation - 10%

Late Policy: Problem sets are due at the beginning of class unless otherwise stated. For each day your assignment is late, you will lose 5%. No extensions will be granted on the due date without a documented reason.

Course Information

Throughout the semester, we will use this website to make any course announcements, so please check in frequently. There is also a latte page for this course that you can access by logging in at
http://latte.brandeis.edu/. You must be officially registered for the course in order to access the latte page. Course readings and Handouts will be posted through latte.

Last Updated: 04/28/10