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Spanish Semantics

This course is an upper undergraduate/graduate-level introduction to the study of the meaning of words and sentences, with a focus on Spanish and other languages in its sphere, be it other Romance languages, or languages in contact with Spanish.

In it, we analyze what is (linguistic) meaning, how many kinds of meaning are there, how we construct meanings, and what regularities govern the relationship between sentence and word structure and their interpretations. We study the sources of literal, non-literal, and non-asserted meanings (“My idiot brother screwed up” seems to say “my brother is an idiot”, but without really asserting it; how?), ambiguity (“All 3 students read a book”… how many books were read, 1 or 3?), the interpretations of quantifiers (if you talked to a group of students collectively, why can you say “I talked to every student” but not “I talked to each student”?), lexical and grammatical aspect of verbs (Spanish perfect vs. imperfect), how do you refer to entities in discourse, among other topics.

Requisites: Prerequisite, SPAN 360.

Previously Offered:

Spring 2020