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Topics in Linguistics B: Cross-Cultural Semantics


Admission requirements



This course is about the quest for semantic universals since the seventeenth century (e.g. Leibniz, Locke, Wilkins) and the position of semantics in linguistic theory (e.g. Saussure, Whorf, Chomsky), with special attention to cross-cultural universals and variation (e.g. Greenberg, Wierzbicka, Tomasello).



Mode of instruction

Seminar, with weekly readings and written assignments. Both the readings and the assignments will be discussed in class.

Course objectives

To make original observations; to ask questions and form hypotheses about semantic issues in diverse languages; to critically evaluate relevant literature; to discuss and present contrasting positions and traditions; and to gain hands-on research experience in the semantic aspects of grammatical description.

Course load

Total 140 hours (5 EC x 28 hours) – Contact hours: 12 – Preparation for class: 80 hours – Written assignments: 48 hours

Assessment method

Written assignments (70%), In-class participation & contributions (30%)




Prospective students, please check the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply.

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs

Enrollment through uSis for the course and the examination or paper is mandatory.

Contact information

web: www.wiedenhof.nl/ul/ccs-1415.htm
mail: jeroenATwiedenhof.nl