ATS3674 - Semantics and pragmatics: The study of meaning in human languages - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Alice Gaby

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Semantics is concerned with the meaning of every kind of linguistic constituent and expression in language(from the smallest morphemes and words to complex sentences and texts), as well as the relationships that hold between them. Pragmatics is concerned with how speakers use linguistic forms in particular contexts to communicate more than the semantic content of those forms, as well as how their addressees draw inferences in order to arrive at a shared understanding (or not!). This unit considers the nature of linguistic meaning and how it can be best represented, drawing on natural language data from around the world.


On successful completion of the unit students should be able to:

  1. explain the fundamental concepts of linguistic semantics and pragmatics;
  2. deploy the basic tools and skills needed to progress to original research in semantics and pragmatics;
  3. interpret and describe the semantic and/or pragmatic content of natural language exchanges.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS1338 and ATS1339, and 12 credit points in linguistics at Level 2 units