Calendar

The calendar below provides information on the course's lecture (L) and review (R) sessions.
 

SES #TOPICSKEY DATES
L1

Overview

Meaning

Grice on Non-natural Meaning

 
L2

Concepts of Meaning

Circularity/Holism

Truth-Conditions

 
L3

More on Truth-Conditions

Meta-language vs. Object Language

Semantic Properties of Sentences

Some Obvious Shortcomings of Truth-Conditional Semantics (Slang, Honorifics)

 
L4

Truth-Conditions

Propositional Logic

Truth-Tables

The Connectives

Problem set 1 due
L5

Tautologies, Contradictions

De Morgan's Laws

The Material Conditional

 
L6

The Material Conditional (cont.), as an analysis of "if"

Initial Plausibility

"Paradoxes"

Pragmatic Inferences

 
L7

Pragmatic Inferences (cont.)

Sentence (Truth-Conditional) Meaning vs. Speaker Meaning

"I'm not hungry"

Grice's Maxims of Conversation

Quantity Implicatures

Pragmatic Strengthening of "possible" (from Portner's Book)

Problem set 2 due
L8

Gricean Quantity Implicatures (cont.)

Reasons to prefer a Pragmatic Approach over an Ambiguity Approach

 
L9

Gricean Quantity Implicatures (cont.)

Applied to Strengthening of "some" and "or" (Truth-Conditionally: Inclusive, Pragmatically Strengthened to Exclusive)

 
R1Review Session 1 
L10Gricean Story about "or" againProblem set 3 due
L11Supplementing Material Conditional Truth-Conditions for "if" with Pragmatic Inferences 
L12

Problems for the analysis of "if" as Material Conditional + Pragmatic Implicatures

New Topic: Compositionality

Analyzing "Sheila barks"

 
L13

Proper names have as their semantic value individuals

Predicates have as their semantic value sets of individuals, or functions from individuals to truth-values

Brief Discussion of Vagueness

Problem set 4 due
L14

Transitive Predicates (Functions from Individuals to Functions from Individuals to Truth-Values)

Function Application as the Main Semantic Composition Principle

 
L15

The Lambda-notation for Specifying Functions

Order of Arguments

First Introduction to Relative Clauses

 
L16

Review of Semantic System

Different kinds of Transitivity Alternations, Implicit Arguments

Informal Discussion of Relative Clauses

Problem set 5 due
L17

Relative Clauses

Gaps, Variables, Fillers

Predicate Abstraction

 
L18

Example Calculation: "Shelby is smart"

Modifiers

Predicate Modification

 
L19

"smart dog" vs. "smart person"

Perhaps, adjectives are not one-place predicates but functions from one-place predicates to one-place predicates

Other Interesting Cases of Adjectives: "alleged murderer", "canine genius"

 
L20

Perhaps, adjectives are one-place predicates after all, but context-dependent ones

"Pauline is a tall horse"

 
L21

Definite NPs

"The" as a function from one-place predicates to individuals

Partial function only defined for predicates that are true of exactly one individual

Presuppositions

The "King of France"

Problem set 6 due
L22Quantifiers 
L23

Natural Language Quantifiers

Compared to Predicate Logic Quantifiers

The Meaning of "most"

Negative Polarity Items

 
L24

Negative Polarity Items (cont.)

Licensing by Quantifiers in position of Downward Monotonicity (the Fauconnier-Ladusaw Hypothesis)

Problem set 7 due
L25

Frege vs. Russell on the meaning of "the"

Attributive vs. Referential Uses of Definite Descriptions

Pragmatic analysis of the two uses of Definite Descriptions

Squib topic due
L26

Review of the analysis of "the killer of the black cat" (from problem set)

More on Referential vs. Attributive

Problem set 8 due
L27

Tense

Semantic Values Relative to a Time of Evaluation

The Past Tense

Existential Quantification or Referential?

Partee's Example "I didn't turn off the stove"

Also: "Last month, I went for a hike"

 
R2Review Session 2 
L28More on the Past Tense and whether it is Referential or involves Existential Quantification (Contextually Restricted) 
L29

Aspectual Classes: States, Activities, Achievements, Accomplishments

Instants vs. Intervals

Accomplishments are only true of Intervals

 
L30

"The World of Sherlock Holmes"

Shifting the World of Evaluation

 
L31ModalsSquib due
R3Review Session 3 
L32

Conditionals again

The Strict Implication Analysis

 
L33

Conditionals again (cont.)

Stalnaker's Definite Analysis