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Semantics 1


Admission requirements



There are systematic patterns in how sentences in natural language convey various meanings. Formal Semantics is a theoretical framework that enables us to empirically investigate principles governing such systematic patterns, employing tools made available by linguistics, logic and cognitive science.

This course is the second course of the two-semester introduction to formal semantics. Topics of the second semester include:

  • Classification of meanings,

  • Lexical semantics,

  • Sentence meanings as truth-conditions,

  • Principle of compositionality, and

  • Propositional and predicate logic.

Course objectives

  • To learn the basic notions of formal semantics

  • To acquire the basic skills to analyze the meanings of simple declarative sentences

  • To be able to read and write propositional and predicate logical formulae.


Linguistics (BA)

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 5EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature and assignments: 62 hours

  • Preparation for the exam: 52 hours

Assessment method


The final mark for the course is established by the weighted average of the following components:

  1. Written examination with open questions (75%)
  2. Class Participation and successful submission of assignments (25%)


Resit of the written examination will take place.

Exam review

The model solutions of the exam will be uploaded on Blackboard together with the publication of the exam results at the latest.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Various class announcements

  • Uploading class handouts, slides and other materials

  • Submitting assignments

Reading list

Required textbook:

Altschuler, Daniel, Terence Parsons and Roger Schwarzschild. to appear. A Course in Semantics. The MIT Press. (The textbook is scheduled to be published in September 2019. In case it is not ready by the time the semester starts, we will use the PDF manuscript provided by the authors.)

Other supplementary materials will be provided as a reader.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website


Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies