**Course description**

Natural languages are sophisticated tools which enable us to express and understand an unbounded range of thoughts by assembling sentences that we have never before used or heard. Formal semantics uses tools from logic to study how this impressive result is achieved, that is, how the meaning of an expression is assembled from the meanings of its parts.

This course introduces the key logical tools of formal semantics and covers some central topics in semantics, like predication, quantification, definites, plurals, indexicals, modals, conditionals, questions, and presuppositions.

**Textbook
**Invitation to Formal Semantics

By Elizabeth Coppock and Lucas Champollion

**Prerequisites
**Basic knowledge of predicate logic. Students wishing to refresh the relevant notions may study Chapters 3 and 4 of the textbook.

**Program, material, and assignments
**(will be updated as the course proceeds)

28 Feb. Introduction. What is formal semantics?

Material: Handout. Chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook.

If you lack prior knowledge of predicate logic, please read also Ch. 3 and 4.

03 Mar. Mathematical preliminaries; introducing the typed lambda calculus.

Material: Introduction notes + handout. Chapter 5 of the textbook.

07 Mar. Semantics of the typed lambda calculus. Beta reduction.

Material: Second part of previous handout (updated) + new handout.

First exercise sheet

10 Mar. Exercise session on the lambda calculus.

Solutions to exercise sheet 1 available via Moodle.

14 Mar. Basics of compositional semantics. Function application.

Material: Handout. Sections 6.1 and 6.2 of the textbook.

Second exercise sheet.

17 Mar. Intersective and non-intersective predicate modification.

Material: Handout. Sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the textbook.

Solutions to exercise sheet 2 available via Moodle.

21 Mar. Quantifiers and determiners.

Material: Handout. Sections 6.3-6.5 of the textbook.

Third exercise sheet.

24 Mar. Monotonicity and NPIs.

Material: Handout. Sections 2.2 and 2.4 of the textbook.

Solution to exercise sheet 3 available via Moodle.

28 Mar. Definite descriptions.

Material: Handout. Chapter 8 of the textbook.

Fourth exercise sheet.

31 Mar. Relative clauses. Pronouns.

Material: Handout. Sections 7.3-7.5 of the textbook.

Solutions to exercise sheet 4 available via Moodle.

04 Apr. Donkey anaphora and dynamic semantics.

Material: Handout. Dynamic Predicate Logic, up to Sec. 3.2.

Fifth exercise sheet.

14 Apr. Introducing intensional semantics.

Material: Handout. Sections 13.1-13.5 of the textbook.

Optional: Chapter 1 of von Fintel and Heim’s lecture notes.

Solutions to exercise sheet 5 available via Moodle.

18 Apr. Propositional attitude verbs.

Material: Handout. Optional: Chapter 2 of von Fintel and Heim’s notes.

Sixth exercise sheet.

21 Apr. Modals.

Material: Handout. Chapter 3 of von Fintel and Heim’s notes.

Optional reading: Kratzer 1981.

Solutions to exercise sheet 6 available via Moodle.

28 Apr. Conditionals.

Material: Handout. Chapter 4 of von Fintel and Heim’s notes.

Optional reading: Kratzer 1986. Ciardelli 2022.

Seventh exercise sheet.

02 May. Indexicals.

Material: Handout. Kaplan 1979 (up to Section 14, rest optional).

Solutions to exercise sheet 7 available via Moodle.

05 May. Assertion.

Material: Handout. Stalnaker 1978.

Eighth exercise sheet.

09 May. Questions

Material: Handout. Chapters 1 and 2 of Groenendijk & Stokhof’s notes

Solutions to exercise sheet 8 available via Moodle.

12 May. Embedded questions.

Material: Handout.

Ninth exercise sheet.

16 May. Presupposition projection.

Material: Handout. Chapters 8.5 and 9.1-9.3 of the textbook.

Optional: Heim 1988.

Solutions to exercise sheet 9 available via Moodle.

19 May. Conclusion, correction of the mock exam.

Solutions to the mock exam available via Moodle.

**Access to Moodle**

If Moodle asks you for an enrolment key, it is: SUP9085903N02022