Courses Catalogue

Semantics And Pragmatics

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Master of Arts In Linguistics
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: College of Education, Open and Distance Learning
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course starts by exploring some of the prominent theories in the study of semantics and pragmatics before proceeding to examine the way meaning is encoded in language and the processes language users undertake to interpret it. Throughout the course participants will encounter technical terms and frameworks that help to explain the phenomena of semantics and pragmatics. And since some work in semantics presupposes considerable knowledge of other disciplines such as logic, philosophy and mathematics, the participants will be exposed to aspects of one such discipline namely, how to apply modern standard logic to analysis of meaning. The interpretation of utterance meaning as well as the achievement of interpersonal meaning will be treated to enable a full appreciation of the process involved in day-to-day use of language for communication.

Course Objectives

1)    To familiarize participants with the key concepts and analytical tools of semantics and pragmatics that they can transfer to their research projects later in the programmme

2)    To offer a forum for inter-disciplinarity between Literature and the study of linguistics

3)    To encourage participants to develop research proposals basing on key concepts studied on the course

4)    To support participants to engage with contributions of contemporary scholars in the field of semantics and linguistic pragmatics

5)    To encourage participants to delve deeper into the complex concepts of semantics and pragmatics and apply the same in contexts outside of the course

6)    To develop an understanding of distinctions and similarities between semantics and pragmatics.

Course Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

1)    Apply semantic and pragmatics frameworks to interpret meanings in selected Literature texts

2)    Analyze meaning relations at conceptual, word and sentential levels

3)    Apply modern standard logic to the analysis of meaning

4)    Apply linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge in the pragmatic interpretation of discourse

5)    Confidently utilize the theoretical perspectives/frameworks studied on the course in their research proposals

Evaluate the various definitions of meaning