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

Semantic Theory 2020

Lecturers:Noortje Venhuizen and Harm Brouwer
Location:MS Teams
Time:Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-14:00


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

Course Format

For the Summer Semester 2020, this course will be offered digitally, with a strong focus on self-study. We will provide reading material as well as annotated lecture slides for each topic. We will also plan a weekly online Q&A session, in which you can ask any questions about the course materials, and discuss the weekly exercises. In addition, we will be available for questions through email.

Exercises and Exam

There will be several 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. Specifically, we expect you to be familiar with the content described in the first two sections of this chapter (section 4.1 and 4.2).


We will provide weekly reading material for each topic, which will be updated throughout the semester. Some important online resources:


Please make sure you register for this course through LSF and also send an email (noortjev at coli.uni-saarland dot de) to keep up with all information about this course.

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