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Semantics 1


Admission requirements



There are systematic patterns in how sentences in natural language convey various meanings. Formal Semantics is a theoretical framework that enables us to empirically investigate principles governing such systematic patterns, employing tools made available by linguistics, logic and cognitive science.

This course is the first course of the two-semester introduction to formal semantics. Topics of the first semester include:

  • Classification of meanings,

  • Lexical semantics,

  • Sentence meanings as truth-conditions,

  • Principle of compositionality, and

  • Propositional and predicate logic.

Course objectives

  • To learn the basic notions of formal semantics

  • To acquire the basic skills to analyze the meanings of simple declarative sentences

  • To be able to read and write propositional and predicate logical formulae.


Linguistics bachelor

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load 5EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature and assignments: 62 hours

  • Preparation for the exam: 52 hours

Assessment method


The final mark for the course is established by the weighted average of the following components:

  1. Written examination with open questions (75%)
  2. Class Participation and successful submission of assignments (25%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Resit of the written examination will take place.

Exam review

The model solutions of the exam will be uploaded on Blackboard together with the publication of the exam results at the latest.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Various class announcements

  • Uploading class handouts, slides and other materials

  • Submitting assignments

Reading list

The reading list will be provided on blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. E. Bylinina

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk