This course provides an introduction into modern formal semantic theory. We acquire a formal tool based on lambda-calculus that enables one to interpret natural language sentences compositionally. The course offers a general interpretative algorithm which allows us to capture the properties of predication, quantification, modification, relativization, presupposition, etc.

Syntax is the study of sentence structure and the abstract principles of organization of syntactic knowledge in the mind of a speaker. In this course, you gain basic knowledge of contemporary syntactic theory within the generative framework, acquire the formal tools to do syntactic analysis of natural languages (i.e. represent syntactic structures of sentences), and learn how to work with native speakers’ intuitions and judgments as a source for the development of syntactic hypotheses. This course also trains your general analytical skills and formal argumentation.

This course discusses language use in context and defines the main types of pragmatic phenomena like implicatures, presuppositions, implicated presuppositions and deixes.  It introduces students into the classical Gricean theory of language use, goes through the neo-Gricean developments of formal pragmatics and Relevance theory, and informs them of State-of-the-Art views on the relation between Pragmatics and Grammar.

Most of the European citizens, as well as millions around the world, speak more than one language. Some people grow up in a multilingual environment and attain more than one native language, some acquire new languages as foreign. Some people are exposed to a multiple language input from birth, others submerge in such an environment at a later age. There is, therefore, a continuum of degrees of acquisition and differences in the manner of language attainment among multilinguals. However, there is evidence that irrespective of the differences, the multilingual mind gets a trackable cognitive benefit.  This class presents an introduction into the psycholinguistic research on multilingualism, and also reviews some of its sociolinguistic aspects. More specifically, we will focus on bilingual first language acquisition, bilingual processing, cognitive benefits of multilingualism, diglossia.