Courses in Syntax and Semantics

Upper-division Courses

120. Introduction to Syntax & Semantics. (4 units.) Introduction to the study of the structural properties of sentences and the connections between sentence structure and sentence meaning. 

121. Logical Semantics. (4 units.) Basic logical concepts. Truth, denotation, and their relation. Models and interpretation. Translation from natural language into logical form and compositionality. Quantification and scope. Intensionality, context-dependency, and presupposition. 

122. Language Typology and Linguistic Universals. (3 units.) Issues in language typology and linguistic universals. An examination of various linguistic subsystems in different languages. 

123. Pragmatics. (3 units.) The relation between language use and human actions. Some topics to be emphasized are conversational logic, speech act theory, politeness, social role, psychological perception of oneself and language, variation in language use. 

124. Discourse. (3 units.) Explores how discourse within small group interaction is structured by socio­cultural forces such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, and regional/political affiliation. It looks at various contexts of interaction, from weblogs to political debates to casual chat, in audio, video and text form, covering topics and methods in pragmatics, conversation and discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics. 

170. History, Structure, and Sociolinguistics of a Particular Language. (3 units.) Exploration of the history, structure, and sociolinguistics of a particular language. The language investigated changes with each offering of this course. 

181. Lexical Semantics. (3 units.) Lectures and exercises in the description of word meanings, the organization of lexical systems, the lexicalization of particular semantic domains (kinship, color, etc.), and contrastive lexicology: lexicalization pattern differences across languages. 

Graduate Courses

220A. Syntax & Semantics I. (3 units.) Develops a solid conceptual, analytical, and empirical foundation for doing research in syntax and semantics. The emphasis is on gaining familiarity with the central empirical phenomena, as well as core theoretical notions, methodology, and argumentation.

220B. Syntax & Semantics II (3 units.) Continues 220A with an in-depth examination of selected syntactic and semantic phenomena and the methods of their analysis. The phenomena investigated vary with each offering of the course. 

221. Advanced Logical Semantics. (3 units.) Introduction to the core principles and empirical issues addressed by formal semantics and the analytical tools involved in the investigation of this domain. Focuses on truth-conditional aspects of meaning and the compositional interpretation of phrases and sentences; phenomena include quantification, the semantics of definite/indefinite descriptions, degree semantics, modality, and events. 

222. Linguistic Typology. (3 units.) Introduction to linguistic typology that covers 1) influential frameworks and tools for typological research including implicational hierarchies, semantic maps, and combinatorial typologies; 2) the status of universals in typology and formal, functional, and diachronic explanations for universals; 3) key topics in typology, including word order correlations and sampling methodology, grammatical relations typology, areal typology, and phonological typology.

290A. Syntax Seminar (3 units.) Topic varies by semester. Recent offerings include: Amazonian Syntax and Semantics (Michael and Mikkelsen, Fall 2012), Heads (Jenks, Fall 2013).

290B. Semantics Seminar. (3 units.) Topic varies by semester. Recent offerings include: Tense and Temporal Reference (Bochnak, Fall 2014), Semantic Variation (Deal, Fall 2015).