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Instructor Info:Carlos Molina-Vital
Office Extension x413-559-6847
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
Description: This course presents Semantics as a cognitive phenomenon: what aspects of the representation of reality are relevant for speakers when they use language to convey meaningful utterances? The first part of this course will provide basic insights into classic topics in Semantics such as the nature of meaning, the problem of sense and reference, lexical semantics, meaning as logic form, and meaning as context of use. The second part will explore the relation between language and cognition from a cognitive-functional framework (Cognitive Semantics). Finally, the third part will show how linguistic structures in different languages are motivated through the cognitive principles proposed in the second part. We will apply this Usage-Based approach to morphosyntactic analysis, particularly the nature of grammatical categories, the semantic basis of grammatical relations such as subject and object, and the conceptual motivation behind active, passive, middle and causative constructions in different languages. Prerequisite: One course in linguistics, philosophy of mind, or introduction to anthropology.