Cote 3 credits
In this course we will think about meaning – about how meanings are shaped with language (and with English in particular) and about the boundaries of meaning at different levels of language. Specifically, we’ll consider what kinds of meanings are contained in words and how word meanings interact as we build meaningful phrases and sentences. We’ll also discuss the assumptions we must make about how other people are using language in order to have coherent and meaningful conversations, and we’ll explore ways that meaning is actually a product of inferential thought processes in particular linguistic and situational contexts. We’ll look at the discourse meanings of different syntax choices and, more generally address the significance of the fact that we have different ways of saying essentially the same thing, including nonliteral uses of language. Finally, we’ll make some connections to creative uses of language.
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