Meaning and Discourse in English
Área Científica do Menor
1st Cycle Studies
Oral presentations, lectures, language analysis from naturally occurring instances of use, class debates and group work. Assessment according to the Rules of Assessment of the 1st cycle of studies.
The course introduces basic tools and concepts in semantics, pragmatics and discourse to analyse meaning in English. By the end of the term the student will have developed the metalanguage that will enable her/him to
a) Identify the different contributions of semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis to the study of meaning and meaning-making process in English;
b) Use adequate terminology to identify and analyse formal as well as functional mechanisms in the construction of linguistic meaning in English;
c) Know how to observe the dynamics involved in the construction of meaning in use and in communication in real life English-speaking contexts;
d) Distinguish the different analytical frameworks in the light of their defining approaches to meaning and language.
The course starts with a debate on the meaning of meaning, then introduces basic concepts in semantics: sense and reference; proposition, sentence and utterance; basic principles in word and sentence semantics. By introducing tools to practice logical-semantic and pragmatic inferences (entailment, presupposition, conversational implicature), a focus on use is introduced. By first focusing on the speaker, then on interactions between speakers in communicative events, different pragmatic and discursive aspects follow: speech acts, conversational exchange, face, politeness and relevance. The course ends with an articulation between language and context and paves the way into discourse studies.
Maria Clara Bicudo de Azeredo Keating
Mini Tests: 25.0%
Collins COBUILD Intermediate English Grammar (2004). London: HarperCollins.
Cutting, Joan (2002). Pragmatics and Discourse: a resource book for students. London: Routledge.
Hurford,J, Heasley,B., Smith, M.B. (2007). Semantics: A Coursebook. Cambridge: CUP.
Levinson, S. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 5th ed. (2009) Harlow: Pearson Longman.
Lyons, J. (1981). Language, Meaning and Context. London: Fontana.
Mey, Jacob (1998). Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Verschueren, Jef (1999). Understanding Pragmatics. London: Arnold.