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Linguistics 6: Introduction to English Semantics


Admission requirements

A pass mark for Linguistics 2 and 4.


Introduction to besic concepts of English semantics, concentrating mainly on lexical semantics. We will consider entailment, synonymy, hyponymy, antonymy, presupposition and modality, and introduce formal logic, thus creating a link to philosophy and pschychology.

Course objectives

  • students learn basic concepts of lexical (and some non-lexical) semantics

  • students can apply these concepts to English

  • students learn the position of semantics as a linguistic phenomenon within the more general study of the human mind


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar per week.

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 14

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 56

  • time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading / research) : 70

Assessment method

  • written exam with closed and open questions 70%

  • written paper 30%

If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s).

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


This course is supported by blackboard.

Reading list

  • Griffiths, Patrick (2006). An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh University Press.


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the coordinator of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration via Studeren à la carte
Registration via Contractonderwijs


English Language and Culture departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.