Semantic Theory 2017


There will be no class on Thursday, July 13. The Q&A session will instead take place on Tuesday, July 18. Prepare questions!

The practice exam and example supplementary materials are now available.

The exam date is: Thursday, July 27, 10:00-12:00 (sharp).

Course Overview

Semantic Theory is a core course of the Master of Science programme in Language Science and Technology (LST), taught at the department of Language Science and Technology at Saarland University.

Lecturer: Noortje Venhuizen: noortjev at coli.uni-saarland dot de
Place: Building C7.3, Seminarraum (1.12)
Time: Tuesday and Thursday 10:15-11:45
Starts: 20.04.2017

Prerequisites: Familiarity with first-order predicate logic. (Please contact me in case you are not sure you meet this requirement)

Literature: The slides will form the study material for this course. Additional recommended reading material can be found in:

  • Gamut, Logic, Language, and Meaning, Vol. 2, University of Chicago Press, 1991
  • Kamp/Reyle, From Discourse to Logic, Kluwer, 1993

Exercises and Exam: There will be a written exam at the end of the semester. Your grade for this exam will be your grade for the course.

There will be 8 sets of exercises, spread out over the weeks. Exercises can be done in teams of up to three students. Each team turns in only one copy of their solution, with the names of all the members of the team clearly marked on the solution.

To be admitted to the final exam, you must obtain a 'pass' for 7 out of the 8 exercises (in other words, you may skip or fail at most one exercise sheet).


The course takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:15-11:45. These sessions will be flexibly used for lectures and others for exercise discussions. Sometimes we will start a session with exercise discussions and then continue with a lecture. So you are encouraged to participate regularly if you don't want to miss anything.

Week 1 (April 18 & 20)

  • April 18: Orientation day (no class)
  • April 20: Introduction to Semantic Theory [slides]

Week 2 (April 25 & 27)

Week 3 (May 2 & 4)

Week 4 (May 9 & 11)

Week 5 (May 16 & 18)

Week 6 (May 23)

NB: No class on May 25 (Christi Himmelfahrt)
  • May 23: Discussion exercises 2 & 3
  • May 25: No class

Week 7 (May 30 & June 1)

Week 8 (June 6 & 8)

  • June 6: Dynamic Semantics [slides]
  • June 8: Discourse Representation Theory [slides]

Week 9 (June 13)

NB: No class on June 15 (Fronleichnam)
  • June 13: Discussion exercise 5 and PDRT-SANDBOX installation [tutorial]
  • June 15: No class

Week 10 (June 20 & 22)

Week 11 (June 27 & 29)

Week 12 (July 4 & 6)

Week 13 (July 11 & 13)

  • July 11: Current Issues in Semantic Theory [slides]
  • July 13: No class (cancelled)

Week 14 (July 18)

Week 15 (July 24-28)

Exam week
  • July 27: Semantic Theory Exam (starts at 10:00 sharp!)