Skip Navigation
                                     Course home       Description       Schedule & Materials       Resources       Partee home



Course Description and Course Requirements

I. The languages of the course:

Lectures, handouts, and text mostly in English. Seminar sessions and other discussion in Russian and/or English. Homework may be done in Russian.

II. Reading materials

Handouts (mostly in English) and some xeroxed articles (some in English, some in Russian) will be given to all enrolled students. As much material as possible will be made available for download from the web: go to the page Materials. I will make a course CD with copies for everyone in March.

III. Structure of Course and Requirements

Every week there will be one lecture and one seminar. There will be five homework assignments, one every two or three weeks. The seminars will be an opportunity to ask questions, to discuss examples and issues from the lectures, to get help with homework assignments, and to discuss the results of past homework assignments and readings.

Requirements: Attendance, assigned reading, and written homework assignments. One short class presentation in April, with a handout (= Assignment #4).

Requirements to receive a 5: Very good attendance, at least 80% of lectures and seminars. Assignments completed on time and in a satisfactory manner; no assignments missing.

Requirements to receive a 4 or zachet: Good attendance, at least 60% of lectures and seminars. Most written homework assignments completed on time and in a satisfactory manner; not more than two assignments missing.

If more than two assignments are missing, you will not receive a zachet or a grade higher than a 3 unless you do some extra work of a high quality; see me if you wish to negotiate alternative assignments in place of some written homework.

IV. Short description of the course

Course announcement in Russian 

The course will begin with a brief introduction to formal semantics and to pragmatics. Then we will study some themes which have been central in the development of "dynamic semantics" and of formal pragmatics. These themes are connected primarily with the interaction of context and meaning and with non-truth-conditional aspects of meaning. No previous familiarity with formal semantics will be presupposed.

Some of the topics to be discussed include:

  • the principle of compositionality,
  • the concept of meaning as truth-conditions,
  • introduction to lambdas and their usefulness for semantics,
  • presuppositions,
  • conversational and conventional implicatures,
  • expressive meaning - honorifics, depreciatives, formal/familiar;
  • demonstratives and indexicals,
  • focus-sensitive constructions,
  • semantics and pragmatics of questions,
  • issues of pragmatic typology.

The course is intended principally for 3rd and 4th year students of OTiPL; others are welcome as well.


Course home