Singapore University of Social Sciences

Semantics and Pragmatics

Semantics and Pragmatics (ELG356)

Applications Open: 01 April 2022

Applications Close: 31 May 2022

Next Available Intake: July 2022

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1378 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE), Lifelong Learning Credit (L2C)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


ELG356 looks at the study of meaning in human languages, namely in terms of grammatical semantics and pragmatics. In grammatical semantics, students will be introduced to the approach of studying meaning by focussing on literal meaning and how patterns of meaning are organized within a language in terms of sound structure, grammatical structure and meaning structure. Another approach to the study of meaning is to ask how language allows us to communicate: how do we use linguistic expressions to communicate our understanding of the world? Students will be introduced to the speech act theory in learning about linguistic expressions and how they convey meaning in utterances and in particular contexts.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Introduction to Meaning.
  • Meaning in linguistics.
  • Word (Lexical) meaning.
  • Sentence meaning.
  • Sentences and truth.
  • Meaning and context.
  • Functions of language.

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate ways that thought, concepts and meaning are connected
  • Illustrate core concepts in the study of meaning
  • Examine the types of meaning (e.g., semantic and pragmatic meaning) that arise in naturally occurring language data
  • Critically analyse naturally occurring language
  • Formulate predicate logic translations of natural language sentences and vice versa
  • Appraise the ways in which speakers use language for particular social functions beyond the literal meaning of the expressions they use
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