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Due to weather conditions, all classes today, Friday, March 31, will be held as scheduled. Saturday, April 1, in-person classes and services will start at 10:00 a.m. Online classes and services will occur as scheduled. Please check email for further details.

LING 475 Semantics and Pragmatics

This course studies formal linguistic meaning. Students learn the theories and technical tools for analyzing compositional and interactive structures of meaning, how meaning is related to other linguistic analysis (such as morphology and syntax), and how to apply such data to an understanding of first and second language learning and acquisition.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 6, 2020 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Identify the principle structures of English syntax.
  • Employ linguistics¿ specialized descriptive semantic and pragmatic terminologies with a high degree of consistency.
  • Apply foundational semantic concepts (e.g., truth-conditional, denotation, presupposition, anaphora, topic and focus, discourse particles, expressives, etc.).
  • Analyze specific interplays between context and meaning in a broad variety of domains (e.g., deixis/anaphora, binding, ellipses, implicature, presupposition, and speech act theory).
  • Apply foundational concepts/theories of pragmatics (e.g., Gricean pragmatics, conversatonal implicature, conventional implicature, etc.).
  • Develop original academic arguments rooted in independent linguistic analysis.
  • Delineate morphological and syntactical analysis with emphasis on features arising in second language acquisition.
  • Appraise and critically analyze complex cultural and linguistic contexts of given linguistic data sets situated in legacies of colonialism, genocide, linguistic suppression, and linguistic devaluation associated with the teaching of English in historic and present-day contexts.