|Instructor||Lecture Day/Time||Lecture Hall||Office Hours||Office|
|Masoud Jasbi||Mon/Wed, 3-4:30pm||Sever Hall email@example.com||Mon, 1-3pm [Book a Slot!]||Boylston Hall G23|
|Teaching Fellows||Section Day/Time||Classroom||Office Hours||Office|
|Shannon Bryant||Thu, 10:30-11:30am||Boylston firstname.lastname@example.org||Fri, 10:30-11:30am [No booking needed.]||Boylston Hall G23|
|Gunnar Lund||Wed 4:30-5:30
|Sever 210 (Sever 213 after week 4)
|email@example.com||Tue, 3-4pm [No Booking Needed.]||Boylston Hall G23|
|Giuseppe Ricciardi||Fri 2:30-3:30pm||Sever Hall firstname.lastname@example.org||Wed, 2-3pm||Mezzanine, Boylston Hall|
|1||Jan||28||The Formal Study of Meaning||Is language illogical?, Formal approaches to Meaning, Taxonomy of Meaning||Textbook Ch. 1|
|2||Feb||4||Sentence Meaning||Propositions, Syntax and Semantics of Propositional Logic, Truth, Entailment, Logical Connectives||Textbook Ch. 2||Assignment 1||Sets, Functions, and Relations|
|3||11||First Order Meaning||Individuals, Predicates, Relations, First-order Quantification, Syntax and Semantics of Predicate Logic||Textbook Ch. 3||Assignment 2|
|4||18||President's Day||Textbook Ch. 4||Assignment 3|
|20||First Order Meaning|
|5||25||The Semantic Lego||Compositionality, Typed Lambda Calculus, Function Application||Textbook Ch. 5||Assignment 4||Typed Lambda Calculus|
|6||Mar||4||Quantification in Language||Generalized Quantifiers, Scope||Keenan 1996: The Semantics of Determiners||Assignment 5|
|7||11||Possibility and Necessity||Possible Worlds, Modal Logic, Weak vs. Strong Modal Statements||Textbook Ch. 10||Midterm||Possible Worlds and Modal Logic|
|13||Meaning as Vectors||Guest Lecture: Ethan Wilcox|
|9||25||Presuppositions||Common Ground, Semantic vs. Pragmatic Presuppositions, Entailment Canceling Environments, Holes, Plugs, Filters||Textbook Chapter 6||Assignment 6||Partial Functions|
|27||Karttunen (1973): Presuppositions of Compound Sentences|
|10||Apr||1||Meaning in Conversation||Gricean Typology of Meaning, Rationality, Implicatures, Logic and Language||Grice (1975): Logic and Conversation||Assignment 7||Gricean Reasoning|
|3||Grice (1978): Further Notes on Logic and Conversation|
|11||8||Speech Act Theory||Rational Speech Act Models (Gunnar Lund)||Frank & Goodman (2012): Predicting Pragmatic Reasoning in Language Games||Argument Map 1||Basic Probability Theory|
|10||locution, illocution, and perlocution (Gunnar Lund)||Searle (1968): Austin on Locutionary and Illocutionary Acts|
|12||15||Generics||(Michael Henry Tessler)||Yoon, Tessler, Goodman, & Frank (Submitted)||Argument Map 2||RSA|
|13||22||Intonation and Meaning||(Shannon Bryant)||Assignment 8||Alternatives|
|14||29||Matters of Opinion||Predicates of Personal Taste and Faultless Disagreement||Final Exam|
|May||1||Lying||Imprecision, Vagueness, Deception, Bald-faced Lying, Bullshitting||Meibaur (2011): On Lying|
|Textbook||Formal Semantics Boot Camp||Tools||Canvas, mainly for announcements and assignments.|
|By Elizabeth Coppock (BU) and Lucas Champollion (NYU)||Piazza for (possibly anonymous) questions, comments, and discussions. Search for LING 106 Knowledge of Meaning when you sign in and enroll as a student.|
|1||Introduce the main topics in formal approaches to meaning||Readings, Lectures|
|4||Practice basic semantic analysis and formal modeling||Assignments, Midterm, Final Exam|
|3||Introduce the connections of topics in formal semantics/pragmatics to real world issues||Readings, (Guest) Lectures|
|4||Practice critical and scientific thinking||Argument Maps, Reading Reactions|
|Attendance||11.1%||Lectures||7.5%||25 lectures, 0.3% for each lecture.|
|Sections||3.6%||12 sections, 0.3% for each section.|
|Critical Thinking||18.9%||Reading Reactions||6.5%||Starting on week 2, post short questions or comments about the week's readings on Canvas (Discussion Section). Your comment can also be in response to a classmate's question.|
|Argument Map||12.4%||Two argument maps of the following papers: 1. Frank & Goodman (2012) [5%] 2. Yoon, Tessler, Goodman, and Frank (Submitted) [7.4%]. Take a look at this introduction to argument maps and how we use them in this class.|
|Assignments||40%||8 total, 5% each. Due on Mondays. Details and submission in Canvas.|
|Midterm||10%||Take-home exam. 5 Questions Total. Details and submission in Canvas.|
|Final||20%||Take-home exam. 10 Questions Total. Details and submission in Canvas.
OR, a research paper (6-10 pages). Students who choose this option should meet with Masoud to discuss their research topic and propose a timeline.
|Attendance||Each unexcused absence results in 0.3% deduction. An absence is excused if it is due to one of the following: personal/family emergency, health issues (physical or mental), or Religious Obligations. Ask your resident dean to contact the instructor in such cases.|
|Late Submission||Late assignments will be graded as though they were not late, but then 5% of the grade earned will be deducted for each day the assignment is late, with a maximum penalty of 50%. All late work must be turned in by the Friday before your final exam. This policy can be waived if lateness is due to medical reasons or other special circumstances. If you you believe such special circumstances apply to you, please put us in contact with your resident dean so that we can discuss the appropriate extension for you.|
|Submission Format||Submit your assignments using Canvas. Files should be in PDF. Typed assignments should use Times New Roman (12pt), 1 inch margins, 1.5 line spacing. Handwritten assignments must follow similar margins and spacing and must be legible. If the answer cannot be determined due to illegibility, no points are assigned to that answer. Do not include your name or any identifying information in the assignment. In order to avoid grading biases, assignments are graded anonymously.|
|Grading|| We use the following grading scale:
A = 100-94, A- = 94-90, B+ = 90-87, B = 87-84, B- = 84-80, C+ = 78-77, C = 77-74, C- = 74-70, D+ = 70-67, D = 67-64, D- = 64-60, F = 60-0.
For any submission, if you believe there have been grading mistakes, you can ask for re-grading. The assignment will be graded by a new grader and the second grade will be recorded.
|Integrity||We follow the Academic Integrity Policy, which discusses collaboration on homework and expectations for reading responses and exams. You are permitted to work together on the assignments (but not for midterm and the final exam). However, you must write up and submit your own unique assignment.|
|Accessibility||Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Accessible Education Office (AEO). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare a letter for the faculty. Students should contact the AEO as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations.|
|Addressing the Instructor||For names I prefer Masoud, or if you would rather use a formal name Mr. Jasbi. For pronouns he/his/him.|
|Participation||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 your 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.
|Questions|| 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! Please wonder!