Linguistics/Psychology 315/515
Prof. Suzanne Kemmer
Spring 2009

Course information
Course schedule
Reading list
Links to research

Tentative Course Schedule

Full references to readings will be published on the Reading List

Completed problem assignments are to be submitted to Owlspace via uploading to the Assignments module. They must be in the form of Word files, not .pdf.

Reading Responses are also to be submitted to Owlnet via uploading to the Assignments module. After the first week, these will be generally due the day we discuss a reading, before class.

TJan 6 Introduction. Organizational issues. Meaning and associated basic analytical concepts. Word meaning vs. propositional meaning. Conceptualizations: lexical concepts and propositions. Exploring the meaning of a word (assassinate) via semantic intuitions. No reading.
ThJan 8 What is meaning? The form-meaning link. Narrowing what is meant by "meaning" in Semantics. Kinds of meaning systems and their properties: Language vs. other symbol systems. Begin Bolinger excerpt.
TJan 13Prerequisites for a symbolic system. Aspects of lexical acquisition. Generalizing meanings from context. Bolinger excerpt cont. Bolinger Reading Response due Friday 5 pm.
ThJan 15 Finding structure in semantic fields. Taxonomies and Paradigms. Basic semantic notions: Inclusion and contrast. Excerpt from Tyler. Tyler reading response due Jan. 19.
T Jan 20Lexical network structures. American structuralist semantic theory. Synonymy. Practicing semantic analysis of synonyms. Tyler, cont. Semantics Problem #1 posted to Owlspace.
ThJan 22European structuralist tradition: Lexical field theory. More basic notions: compatibility, incompatibility (semantic anomaly). Meaning "inside your head" or "outside your head"? (cognitivist vs. objectivist position) Lehrer reading.
TJan 27 [Views of meaning: Logical relations among items in a domain. "Denotation" vs. "connotation". Cognitive and social dimensions of meaning (often dismissed as "mere connotation; not meaning") - We did not touch on this but it will come up later]. Semantic compatibility/incompatiblity as a mode of investigating meaning properties. More practice with synonyms: fall, topple, collapse. Lehrer, cont.
ThJan 29 More on binary lexical relations. Synonyms. Antonyms and other kinds of opposites. Gradability and scales. Folk vs. specialized language. Special categorization systems (with authority to be "stipulative" in Fillmore's sense): the law; science; any expert field. Lehrer, cont. Semantics Problem 1 due
TFeb 3 More on opposites. Methodological and theoretical issues. Taxonomies in legal language. The relation of legal and ordinary language. Fillmore 1978
ThFeb 5 Discussion of Assignment 1. Scenes and frames. The concept of a semantic domain. How it relates to types of lexical structures like the taxonomy. Eclectic vs. restricted theories. Fillmore 1975, Fillmore 1978.
TFeb 10 Fillmore 1975 cont. The notion of the linguistic prototype. Reading response due (on both Fillmore readings; see assignments).
ThFeb 12 Relations of scene/frame and prototype to current concepts in Cognitive Science. Fillmore 1975 cont.
TFeb 17 Prototypes and frames in relation to findings in Psychology. The 'body image' and other aspects of embodied cognition; space. Clark and Clark (1975)
ThFeb 19 Space cont. Taxonomies and paradigms in cognitive perspective: A more general conception (beyond features). Shape categories. Relation of language and thought. More cognitive categories. Clark and Clark (1975) cont.
TFeb 24 Figure/Ground asymmetry and markedness; other categories; virtual scales; some spatial relations (high/low; across) . Clark and Clark through to conclusion. "The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis And Variation Across Languages" (sapirwhorf.doc in Resources on Owlspace). Semantics Problem #2 was posted to Owlspace Feb 22.
ThFeb 26 Relation of language and thought--beyond Clark and Clark. Thinking for speaking. Some cognitive capacities underlying language. generalizing capacity, construal and viewpoint Slobin, "Thinking for Speaking". Also short Kemmer document in Resources on Owlspace: "Some Cognitive Capacities Underlying Human Categorization". (These ideas will be picked up and developed more in the Radden and Dirven article to be read for the class after break.)
TMarch 3 Midterm recess. No class.
ThMarch 5 Midterm recess. No class.
TMarch 10 More cognitive capacities: generalization/specificity, viewpoint and perspective, windowing Radden and Dirven "Cognitive Operations in Thought and Language". (Resources, Course readings)
ThMarch 12 Profile/base asymmetry, Figure/Ground asymmetry, viewpoint, windowing and other capacities Radden and Dirven cont. Problem #2 due Thursday March 12 before class
TMarch 17 Projection and Image schemas: Two crucial cognitive capacities or tools of thought Excerpt from Ch. 2 of Turner The Literary Mind. Image Schemas; Projection, Planning, etc.
ThMarch 19 Image Schemas cont.: Projection, Sequences, Recognition, Imagination, Planning, Animacy, Agency Turner Ch. 2 cont.
TMarch 24 Image Schems cont. Spatial image schemas in lexical semantics; space and other domains; aspects of image schemas in Cognitive Science Oakley. Last Reading Response, on Image Schemas, posted to Owlspace.
ThMarch 26 Conceptual blending: the engine of the imagination. Relation to metaphor. Blended spaces. Turner 2nd excerpt: From Ch. 5, Creative Blends
TMarch 31 Conceptual Blending and metaphor cont. Generic spaces. Turner Ch. 5 cont. and Turner Ch. 6 Many spaces. Image Schemas Reading response due Wed. April 1
ThApril 2 Spring recess No class.
TApril 7 Frames, lexical semantics and corpora. (also a bit of Introduction to Talmy framework.) Talmy. Last Semantics Problem, #4 (there is no 3) was posted to Owlspace April 2.
ThApril 9 The expression of motion in human language: paths and manners Talmy pp. 59-76
TApril 14 Motion cont. Talmy. Problem #4 due April 14 before midnight.
ThApril 16 Language and Cognition; Lexical semantics. Conclusion.

© 2001-2009 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 4 April 2009