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Formal and cognitive semantics

ECTS credits


Number of hours: Lectures + Seminars + Exercises

15 / 30 / 0

Course objectives

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the fundamental ideas of cognitive semantics, which can be used even in a formal analysis of linguistic meaning. Formal approaches to analyzing linguistic meaning, which are used in programing, natural language processing, and even in some forms of artificial intelligence, are here enriched by an understanding of language as a system through the basic tenets of cognitive semantics.

Enrolment requirements and/or entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes at the level of the programme to which the course contributes

  • Apply theoretical knowledge of the fundamentals of the six core disciplines and their relationship within cognitive science.
  • Apply specific knowledge and skills from selected disciplines constituting cognitive science.
  • Integrate insights, methods, and levels of analysis across different disciplines into a unified framework for understanding the human mind and cognition in general.
  • Employ diverse disciplinary tools in exploring and describing the nature of cognitive processes.

Course content (syllabus)

  • Course introduction.
  • Introduction to semantics: the scientific study of meaning.
  • Cognitive semantics: basic tenets.
  • Cognitive semantics: categorization and metaphorization.
  • Cognitive semantics: constructions and meaning construal.
  • First preliminary exam.
  • Researching meaning in language: semantic research methods 1.
  • Researching meaning in language: semantic research methods 2.
  • Formal semantics: basic tenets.
  • Logic and meaning in language.
  • Cognitive and formal semantics: applications.
  • Researching meaning in language: student individual research formation.
  • Researching meaning in language: student presentations.
  • Second preliminary exam.
  • Final discussion and grades.

Student responsibilities

Attend class, read study materials, pass two exams, conduct an individual study.

Required literature

  • Sebastian Lobner (2002). Understanding semantics. Arnold: Hodder Headline Group
  • Ronnie Cann (1993). Formal semantics. Cambridge University Press
  • Ronnie Cann, Ruth Kempson, Eleni Gregoromichelaki (2009). Semantics: an introduction to meaning in language. Cambridge University Press
  • Alan Cruse (2000). Meaning in language: an introduction to semantics and pragmatics. Oxford university Press
  • William Croft, Alan Cruse (2004). Cognitive linguistics. Cambridge University Press

Optional literature

  • Shalom Lappin (ed.) (1996). The handbook of contemporary semantic theory. Blackwell
  • Bas C. van Fraassen (1971). Formal semantics and logic. Macmillan
  • William G. Lycan (1986). Logical form in natural language. The MIT Press