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Language and Logic


Admission requirements



Human language isn’t always logical... or is it? This course provides an introduction to logic and its roles in the study of natural language. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relations between formal language and natural language, you will learn to read and write logical formulae and basic proofs (propositional logic, predicate logic), and you will become acquainted with recent research on logic and language in fields such as semantics/pragmatics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and computational linguistics.

We will study several chapters with exercises from the classic introductory book Logic, Language and Meaning (Volume 1), as well as exemplary articles from the primary research literature. While this course is a part of the BA Linguistics, it welcomes students from other fields, for whom both the logical skills and the insights into language can be valuable.

Course objectives

  • You will be able to explain correspondences and differences between formal language and natural language, both from a historical and contemporary perspective.

  • You will be able to read and write logical formulae, and to understand and compose simple logical proofs, in propositional logic and predicate logic.

  • You will be able to read and comprehend formally precise academic writing, which is interspersed with mathematical notation, definitions and proofs.

  • You will be able to summarize, at a conceptual level and basic formal level, several research papers from the primary literature on the intersection of logic and language, and to conceive of meaningful research questions in this field.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


There will be one, final written exam with a mix of closed questions, short open questions and essay questions.


The written exam comprises 100% of the grade.


A resit will be offered for the written exam, replacing the original grade entirely.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

L.T.F. Gamut. Logic, Language, and Meaning, Volume 1: Introduction to Logic (first, and only, edition, 1990)
Module 2.3 from the Portal Academic Skills on Argumentation.
Additional materials and research papers will be provided during the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats