〚LOGIC, LANGUAGE, & LEARNING LAB 〛
LIN 241: Advanced Semantics
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
Kerr Hall 273
Kerr Hall 279
Readings & Videos
What is meaning?
truth, implications, entailments, sets, functions, relations
Textbook Ch.1 + 2
Taxonomy of Meaning
Propositional and Predicate Logics
Propositions, Boolean Connectives, Predication, Quantification
Textbook Ch.3 + 4
Typed Lambda Calculus
Types, Lambda Abstraction, Beta Reduction
Compositional Rules, Quantifier Types, Generalized Quantifiers
Beyond Function Application
Adjectives, Type-Shifting, Relative-Clauses, Quantifiers in object position, Pronouns
Adjectives and Composition
Presupposition and Dynamic Semantics
Definiteness, Definedness Conditions, Projection, File Change Semantics, Discourse Representation Theory
Plurality and Coordination
Coordination, Mereology, Plural Definite Descriptions, Cumulative Readings
Peer Review of Abstracts
Tense and Aspect
Aktionsart, Indexicality, Priorean tense logic, Past and Future
Opacity, Intentionality, Hyper-intentionality, Necessity and Possibility
Gricean Pragmatics and Scalar Implicatures
Conversational Maxims, Conversational Implicatures, Conventional Implicatures, Scalar Implicatures
Horn (2004) Imiplicature
Textbook and Learning Tools
Invitation to Formal Semantics
for announcements, assignment submissions and grades
Cover the basic topics in formal semantics and pragmatics
Critically assess the course content
Class discussion and Canvas Discussion Forum
Practice basic semantic analysis and formal modeling
Practice conducting research in semantics
Midterm Abstract, Peer-Review, Final Paper
Presence in class, asking questions, answering questions, and engaging with class discussion and materials.
9 weekly comprehension questions and exercises from the textbook each worth 5%
A two page abstract modeled as a submission to a conference like
. Take a look at sample abstracts from
SALT 25 here
Write a 1-page peer-review for the two midterm abstracts assigned to you. Your peer-review should first briefly summarize the main argument of the abstract, then mention its strengths, followed by major issues and weaknesses, and finally minor issues such as typos or numerical errors. Take a look at
this PLOS blog post on how to outline your review
this ACL guide for writing a good peer-review
Revise and resubmit your abstract based on the feedback you received.
Due dates for exercises and discussions are posted on Cavnas but you can submit them whenever you want before exam week. The midterm abstract, peer-reviews, and the final paper have hard deadlines on Canvas and must be submitted on time. This policy can be waived if lateness is due to medical reasons or other special circumstances.
Submit your assignments in
and in PDF format. Typed assignments should be Times New Roman (12pt), 1 inch margins, 1.5 line spacing. Handwritten assignments must be legible.
Do not include your name or any identifying information in the assignment.
We use the following grading scale:
A+ = 100-97 A = 97-93, A- = 93-90, B+ = 90-87, B = 87-83, B- = 83-80, C+ = 80-77, C = 77-73, C- = 73-70, D+ = 70-67, D = 67-63, D- = 63-60, F = 60-0.
We follow the
UC Davis code of academic conduct
. You are permitted to work together on the assignments. However, you must write up and submit your own unique assignments.
If you need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability, you should initiate the request with
the UC Davis Student Disability Center
. Professional staff will evaluate your request, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare a letter of accommodation for me. Please contact the SDC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations.
Addressing the Instructor
I prefer Masoud. No title or last name needed. All pronouns are fine.
We believe that our class benefits enormously from you sharing your thoughts and questions. Your background, life experiences, knowledge, thoughts, and ideas make you unique, and our classroom diverse. This diversity of perspectives is the foundation of learning in a classroom. At a larger scale and within a scientific community, it is also a major contributor to scientific progress. Therefore, sharing your thoughts and questions can help us learn and build a wider, stronger community of scholars.
Some of you may worry that your classmate's asking questions and sharing ideas may disrupt the class progress. Judging when to ask a question or share an idea is tricky but also part of education. Instead of discouraging it, we would like to practice it together. Here is flowchart that you might find useful. Ultimately, we trust your judgments.
We genuinly believe that there are no "stupid" questions in a classroom. The point of going to a class is to learn together and questions are our best tool to achieve that. It is easy to show that your question will help us learn no matter what. Your question is either:
(1) not framed well; in which case you give us a chance to explain the topic better. Chances are we did not explain it well the first time and many of your classmates are wondering about it too.
(2) framed well and has an answer we know; in which case we can help you as well as your classmates who have the same question learn it too! You have also helped us consolidate our knowledge by explaining it again.
(3) framed well but has an answer we do not know; in which case we can find the answer together and your question has helped all of us learn!
(4) framed well and does not have an answer yet; in which case you found a research topic someone can start working on and benefit the field!
As you see, your question has helped our learning either way. So please ask!