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Formal Semantics and Formal Pragmatics
Spec-kurs MGU Spring 2009 -- Barbara H. Partee

Course announcement in Russian

Meeting time: Fridays, Lecture 16:20-17:50, Seminar 18:00-19:30.
First meeting Friday February 20. Room 957, near the OTiPL kafedra, room 953-954 of 1st Humanities Corpus.

Propusk needed. If you plan to come and don't have an MGU propusk, notify the OTiPL kafedra (, with your full name and place of work or study, so they can make a list for the entrance guards.


Student papers are now online! First ones are online, more to come. When you have my comments, send me your corrected version and I'll put it up!

Topic of the course:

In this course, we will start with a fast introduction to formal semantics and to classical pragmatics, and then turn to some of the issues that have been central in the rise of dynamic semantics and formal pragmatics. These issues concern the relation between meaning and context, and non-truth-conditional aspects of meaning. The term formal pragmatics does not have an exact definition, but it generally extends the methods and goals of formal semantics to deal with those aspects of meaning and use where context of use is an important factor. We will study such topics as presupposition, conversational and conventional implicature, expressive meaning, demonstratives and indexicals, topic and focus, and the semantics and pragmatics of questions. We will raise questions about universals and typology in the realm of pragmatics. There is more on the Description page, and there is a week-by-week schedule with readings and handouts (as they become available) on the Materials page.

Old announcements:
Change of time for last class! On June 5, we will meet at 14:30, with seminar (after tea) at 16:30.

Last three classes:
May 15 (Focus), May 22 (Questions), June 5 (Implicit variables and point of view). No class May 29. More participant presentations in Seminar on May 15, May 22, June 5.

Week 9: Class meets on THURSDAY April 30, at 18:00 (6th and 7th para).
April 3: The course CD is ready. I distributed the first 20 copies in class today. If you didn't get a copy, let me know and I can make more. Here is a copy of the index of what's new in 2009. Here are the indices for what was put on the CD in 2008 and 2007 and of the original 2005 CD; 99% of all that is still on the 2009 CD.

April 15: Moscow Students Linguistics Conference, MGU, Room 953. Some of the course participants, including Maria Usachieva and me, will be giving talks.

First lecture will be on February 20 at 16:20.

If you plan to attend the course but miss the first lecture on February 20, send me an e-mail to let me know:

Saturday Feb 28 at 14:30 - Partee in Uspensky-Pentus seminar:
Topic: "Symmetry and symmetrical predicates". All welcome. Location: Room 956, Humanities Building, MGU. Abstract. Handout (revised and corrected after the talk).