The Interpretation of Language

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode LTX031M10
Vaknaam The Interpretation of Language
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I
ECTS 10
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam The Interpretation of Language
Leerdoelen Students who have completed the Master’s degree programme in this track have demonstrated:

1.1 specialist/advanced knowledge and understanding of concepts and theories in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
1.2 the ability to make connections between theory/analysis and empirical data in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
1.3 knowledge of recent developments in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
1.4 experience with the methods and techniques used to conduct research in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
1.5 the ability to independently develop new ideas for research in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
1.6 specialist knowledge of interactions between the field of semantics and pragmatics and related disciplines.

Students who have completed the Master’s degree programme in this track have demonstrated:

2.1 the ability to combine information from different sources and subdisciplines and distil relevant problems and questions in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
2.2 the ability to analyse complex linguistic data from a theoretical perspective, and formulate an argument for or against certain hypotheses.

Students who have completed the Master’s degree programme in this track have demonstrated:

3.1 the ability to critically assess and compare existing linguistic analyses in the field of semantics and pragmatics.
3.2 the ability to understand the nature of a problem in the field of semantics and pragmatics, and reflect on the right approach to finding a solution.
3.3 the ability to evaluate the soundness of research in the field of semantics and pragmatics in terms of the methodology used.

Students who have completed the Master’s degree programme in this track have demonstrated:

4.1 the ability to report orally and in writing on ideas and research in the field of semantics and pragmatics in accordance with the correct register (formal, informal, specialist).
4.2 the ability to report on supervised own research in the field of semantics and pragmatics in accordance with the criteria of the international academic community, in a potentially publishable paper, if necessary using applicable audiovisual and IT aids.

Students who have completed the Master’s degree programme in this track have demonstrated:

5.1 the ability to study independently with an eye to further academic development upon completion of the degree programme.
5.2 the ability to acquire new knowledge in the field of semantics and pragmatics, and independently find the relevant academic literature.
5.3 the ability to follow developments within the field of semantics and pragmatics, and constantly revise their knowledge and understanding and develop new skills accordingly.
5.4 the ability to start a PhD programme in semantics and pragmatics, or related fields.
Omschrijving The interpretation of sentences is dependent on a variety of factors, including lexical and structural information (phonology, syntax, semantics) and information about the linguistic and non-linguistic context of use (pragmatics). Using the linguistic framework of Optimality Theory, we will see how the interpretation of sentences can be analyzed as the outcome of the interaction between violable and sometimes conflicting constraints of various sorts. Social aspects of language and interpretation can be analyzed as the interplay between the hearer’s perspective and the speaker’s perspective. Based on this linguistic framework, we will consider the interpretation of word order, pronouns and other anaphoric expressions, and scalar implicatures. Furthermore, the relation will be considered between linguistic factors and cognitive factors such as working memory and theory of mind (i.e., the ability to take into account someone else’s perspective).

The students will actively participate in class, present and discuss an article, and orally report on the progress of their own small theoretical analysis or empirical study. The course will be assessed by means of a paper.
Uren per week 4
Onderwijsvorm werkcollege
Toetsvorm werkstuk(ken)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator prof. dr. P. Hendriks
Docent(en) prof. dr. P. Hendriks
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Selection of articles (to be announced on Nestor)
Entreevoorwaarden
Opmerkingen The course will be taught on site (see the schedule for the location of the classes). Please contact the lecturer if you are unable to attend the classes in person.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Ma Taalwetenschappen  (Europese Taalkunde - specialisatie: The Human Language System) 1 semester I verplicht
ReMa Taalwetenschappen / Linguistics  (ReMa Language and Cognition) 1 semester I keuze