Singapore University of Social Sciences

Fundamental Aspects of Language Meaning (TSL503)

Synopsis

TSL 503 Fundamental Aspects of Language Meaning provides students with an overview of the study of semantics and pragmatics. The core theories and concepts are examined critically, with emphasis on those aspects of meaning of direct relevance to language learning. The course will also examine current trends in research in selected areas of semantics and pragmatics, and consider their implications for language learning and teaching.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every 2 years
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.

Topics

  • Abstract and contextual meaning
  • Sentence, utterance and speaker meaning
  • The nature of reference and co-reference
  • Deixis and distance
  • Entailment
  • Presupposition
  • Lexical semantics
  • Pragmatics and indirectness
  • Speech Act
  • Speech Event
  • The Cooperative Principle
  • Conventional and conversational implicatures

Learning Outcome

  • Differentiate between different aspects of meaning
  • Discuss the connection between context and meaning
  • Critique key semantic and pragmatic concepts
  • Evaluate the explanatory value of semantic and pragmatic theories and concepts to their understanding of human communication
  • Assess the relevance of semantic and pragmatic theories and concepts to their understanding of language learning
  • Appraise the applicability of semantic and pragmatic theories and concepts to language teaching
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