SoSe 13: S-Semantics and Pragmatics: Semantics and Pragmatics II
Ferdinand von Mengden
The meaning of linguistic expressions can be studied from (at least) two different angles. We can single out a particular expression, say a word, and try to determine which concept it represents in ... read more
The meaning of linguistic expressions can be studied from (at least) two different angles. We can single out a particular expression, say a word, and try to determine which concept it represents in all its potential uses by all speakers in all possible contexts. This perspective is to some degree artificial, as there is no linguistic utterance (and, thus, no meaning of an expression) that is not influenced by the context of the specific speech situation. Yet, this perspective is probably an essential prerequisite for our understanding of the central question: what does context do to meaning? This would be the other approach then - to see how speakers use expressions (words, idioms, phrases) in specific contexts and how crucial the role of context is to linguistic communication.
In order to study the interaction between conceptual notions and the contribution of context and of speakers' intentions, 'semantics' and 'pragmatics' - according to our terminological conventions two separate, albeit related fields in linguistics - will therefore be presented as one large domain of linguistic studies that cannot be reasonably kept apart.
Schein requirements are an essay, an oral presentation in class and regular and active participation. The seminar starts in the first week of term. Students who are interested in the class but cannot come in the first week, are kindly asked to notify me via email before the start of the lecture period.