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LIN2310 - Semantics: the Study of Meaning in Human Languages

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Keith Allan


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2007 (Flexible)


The nature of human language, its meaningful categories and constructions, and their properties, interrelations, and motivations. Formal tools for the representation of meaning, including propositional calculus, predicate logic, and lambda calculus. Theories considered include natural semantic metalanguage, role and reference grammar, and conceptual semantics. This unit provides the basic tools and preparatory skills to progress to original research in semantics.


Upon completion of this subject students should be able to evaluate formal and informal methods in semantic analysis; gain a sufficient mastery of set theory, propositional and predicate calculus, and model theory to enable their use in semantic analysis and also prepare the student for an advanced course in formal semantics; be familiar with lexical, realist, conceptual, and cognitive semantics; understand how language expressions correlate with things and ideas, things that exist and things that don't; make semantic analyses of texts and formally represent the semantic relations between language expressions in them.


Three assignments: 90%
Class test: 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 seminar) per week


A first-year sequence in Linguistics or Communications.