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LIN3310 - Semantics: the study of meaning in human languages

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Dr Keith Allan


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2009 (Flexible)


Semantics is the study and representation of the meaning of every kind of constituent and expression in language, and also of the meaning relationships between them. Expressing meaning through language is deeply influenced by the social-interactive functions of language - demonstrated in the pervasive importance of the cooperative principle, common ground, and implicature. Semantic theory must explain how this is achieved by giving a demonstrably rational account of the structure of the meaningful categories and constructions of human language, their properties, interrelations, and motivations. This unit takes up the challenge to elucidate paths to that goal.


On successful completion of this unit students should be familiar with the fundamental concepts for linguistic semantics; be able to apply techniques and procedures, methods and skills presented in the unit in order to combine theoretical exegesis of several methods of inquiry with detailed semantic analysis; be equipped with the basic tools and skills needed to progress to original research in semantics.


Written work: 95%
Class test: 5%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


12 points in Linguistics or Philosophy at second-year level.



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