Graduate School

Introduction to semantics

This course is part of the programme:
Cognitive science of language Third Level

Objectives and competences

The course provides an overview of the linguistic theory in the domain of formal semantics. For students with a necessary background, the course serves to systematize their knowledge, for all others the course aims to establish a necessary level of knowledge in semantic theory.


  • Ability to do independent research in formal semantic theory
  • Ability to identify interesting and theoretically significant problems in formal semantics


A completed course at the level of the course “Introduction to Semantics” or “Formal methods in linguistics” at the II. Degree Linguistics program at UNG.

Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Denotation, truth conditions
  • Theory of reference
  • Lambda calculus
  • Presuppositions and implicatures
  • Quantification and logical form
  • Intensionality

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge of the fundamental aspects of formal semantics, the formal theory of meaning.


  • Shalom Lappin (ur.). 1997. The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory- Oxford: Blackwell
  • Gennaro Chierchia in Sally McConnell-Ginet. 2000. Meaning and Grammar: an introduction to semantics. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
  • Irene Heim in Angelika Kratzer. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Peter Ludlow (ur.). 1997. A Readings in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.


Homework assignments and final term paper (50% / 50%).

Lecturer's references

Associate professor of Linguistics at the University of Gorica.


1. SAUERLAND, Uli, STATEVA, Penka. 2007. Scalar vs. epistemic vagueness : evidence from approximators. V: FRIEDMAN, Tova (ur.), GIBSON, Masayuki (ur.). Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory XVII, Ithaca: Cornell University, str. 228-245.

2. SAUERLAND, Uli, STATEVA, Penka. 2011. Two types of vagueness. V: ÉGRÉ, Paul (ur.), KLINEDINST, Nathan (ur.). Vagueness and language use, (Palgrave studies in pragmatics, language and cognition). Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, str. 121-145.

3. SAUERLAND, Uli, STATEVA, Penka. 2007. Introduction. V: SAUERLAND, Uli (ur.), STATEVA, Penka (ur.). Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics, (Palgrave studies in pragmatics, language, and cognition). Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, str. 1-11.

4. STEPANOV, Arthur, STATEVA, Penka. 2009. When QR disobeys superiority. Linguistic inquiry, ISSN 0024-3892, vol. 40, no. 1, str. 176-185.

5. SHARVIT, Yael, STATEVA, Penka. 2002. Superlative expressions, context, and focus. Linguistics and philosophy, ISSN 0165-0157, vol. 25, no. 4, str. 453-504

University course code: 3JEZ003

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1 ali 2

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 45 hours
  • Other: 135 hours

Course type: obligatory

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • individual work under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course