Topics in Lexical Semantics

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Linguistics

Module overview

This module provides an overview of various approaches to lexical semantics including componential analysis, Lexical Conceptual Semantics and Cognitive Semantics.


152900069: General Linguistics  or equivalent; 152900100 Meaning and Interpretation is desirable, but not required.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental ways in which words and sentences are associated with meaning and interpretation in context. They should be acquainted with the assumptions and goals that underlie different approaches to lexical semantics and with the relationship between semantics at the lexical, sentential and discourse levels. They should also have an understanding of how word meaning relates to our more general conceptual knowledge about the world, and how the components of lexical meaning are defined and structured.


Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour lecture.

Method of assessment

Practical questions/data set analysis of 1,000 words to be submitted on day 1, after reading week in the term in which the module is taught (40%); an essay of 2,000 words to be submitted on day 1, week 1, in the term following the one in which the module is taught (60%).

Suggested reading

Core Readings

Main text
  • Saeed, John (2011) Semantics (3rd ed), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
Additional Readings

Available from the convenor at the beginning of the course.


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