24.903 / 24.933 Language and its Structure III: Semantics and Pragmatics

Spring 2005

sherlock saw the man using binoculars

A cartoon illustration of structural ambiguity.  (Image courtesy of OCW.)

Course Highlights

This course features problem sets in the assignments section and a full list of readings.

Course Description

This course gives an introduction to the science of linguistic meaning. There are two branches to this discipline: semantics, the study of conventional, "compositional meaning", and pragmatics, the study of interactional meaning. There are other contributaries: philosophy, logic, syntax, and psychology. We will try to give you an understanding of the concepts of semantics and pragmatics and of some of the technical tools that we use.
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Prof. Kai von Fintel

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
1 hour / session


Undergraduate / Graduate