Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Fachrichtung 4.7 Universität des Saarlandes

Semantic Theory

Lecturers:Noortje Venhuizen and Harm Brouwer
Place:Geb. C72, Seminarraum (1.12)
Time:Tue 10-12, Thu 10-12


This course provides knowledge about phenomena, formalisms and methods in natural-language semantics, which form the basis for deep semantic processing and provide valuable background information for semantic processing in general.

Topics of this course include:

  • Sentence semantics: First-order logic and Type-theory; Lambda Calculus (Montague Semantics)
  • Lexical semantics: Generalized Quantifiers; Event semantics and tense; semantic roles and frames
  • Discourse semantics: Definite and indefinite noun phrases, anaphora, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT)
  • Current Topics in Semantic Theory: Presuppositions and at-issueness; Distributional Formal Semantics

Exercises and Exam

There will be several take-home exercises, which you have to complete to be admitted to the final exam. More details can be found here.


Familiarity with first-order predicate logic

Background literature

  • Gamut, Logic, Language, and Meaning, Vol. 2, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1991
  • Kamp/Reyle, From Discourse to Logic, Kluwer, 1993
  • Winter, Elements of Formal Semantics, Edinburgh University Press, 2016
Available through the Semesterapparat at the Campus-Bibliotek für Informatik und Mathematik.

Role in the degree programmes

M.Sc. Program: Core course
Area: L (Linguistics)
Standard time slot 2nd semester.
Diplomstudiengang Computerlinguistik: Pflicht; Wahlpflichtveranstaltung für MA-NF


6 CP