Introduction to semantics

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Cognitive Science of Language

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.


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


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

Lecturer's references

Associate professor of Linguistics at the University of Nova Gorica.


  1. STATEVA, Penka, ANDREETTA, Sara, REBOUL, Anne Colette, STEPANOV, Arthur. 2021. Bilingual children's use of the Maximize Presupposition principle. Glossa. 6(1): 1-27, ilustr. ISSN 2397-1835.
  2. STATEVA, Penka, STEPANOV, Arthur, DÉPREZ, Viviane, DUPUY, Ludivine Emma, REBOUL, Anne Colette. 2019. Cross-linguistic variation in the meaning of quantifiers: Implications for pragmatic enrichment. Frontiers in Psychology 10:957,
  3. DUPUY, Ludivine Emma, STATEVA, Penka, ANDREETTA, Sara, CHEYLUS, Anne, DÉPREZ, Viviane, HENST, Jean-Baptiste van der, JAYEZ, Jacques, STEPANOV, Arthur, REBOUL, Anne Colette. 2019. Pragmatic abilities in bilinguals: The case of scalar implicatures. Linguistic approaches to bilingualism 9(2): 314-340.
  4. STATEVA, Penka, STEPANOV, Arthur. Two "many"-words in Slovenian: Experimental evidence for pragmatic strengthening. 2017. Acta linguistica academica: An international journal of linguistics 64(3): 435-473.
  5. SAUERLAND, Uli, STATEVA, Penka (eds). 2007. Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics. Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.