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The Chinese University of Hong Kong
How are expressions in a language system interpreted? What are the approaches towards decoding mechanisms in the study of meaning in natural languages? How does one account systematically for ambiguities in the meaning of sentences? To what extent is the study of meaning independent of language context and use? This course examines how meaning is systematically coded in the grammar of natural languages through structural and empirical methods of semantic analysis at the word, sentence and utterance levels. Basic concepts such as sense and reference, lexical semantics, truth functionality in conjunction, disjunction, implication and contradiction, events and entities, as well as quantification will be included.
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This course analyses the meaning of "meaning" from discrepant approaches like the objectivist, cognitive, and structuralist approaches. Important semantic concepts like referentiality and thematic roles as well as pragmatic concepts like speech acts, conversational principles, presuppositions, and negation are also introduced.
15% Class participation - every student is required to do 4 active preparations of the reading materials at tutorials
30% 3 Writing Assignments - each assignment consists of 3-4 multi-part data-based questions
20% Term project - a written report of at least 10 pages, done individually or in pairs
35% Final examination - 3 questions / 2 hours
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