Introduction to Semantics

In this course we will give a thorough introduction in the theory of formal semantics. semantics describes the relation between natural language and the meaning (of a sentence). in this course we will discuss the instrumentary and diverse aspects of semantics like quantification, (co)reference or modality. Roughly the five classes will look like this, although every student is free to bring in topics he or she likes to discuss in class.


  1. Introduction: language and meaning; interpretation; set theory; proposition logic; type theory
  2. Predication: compositionality; structure and interpretation; quantification; scope
  3. Binding and coindexation: anaphora; reference
  4. Modality: possibility; necessaty; possible worlds
  5. Loose ends: tense & aspect; discourse theory

Chierchia, G. &
Gamut, L.T.F. I, II
Kamp & Reyle (1997)
Lapin (1996)
Swart, Henriette de (1998)