Semantics - 2nd semester


a) Identification of the object of study of semantics; b) Recognition of the bases of analysis that support a semantic representation of the languages; c) Identification of the appropriate mechanisms that allow the construction of semantically relevant values in natural languages; d) Establishment of the relations of proximity and differentiation between semantics and pragmatics

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Clara Nunes Correia


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Binnick, R. I. (ed.), 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(caps 17, 25, 26).
Campos, Mª H.Costa & Mª F. Xavier, 1991. Sintaxe e Semântica do Português. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta (caps. 8, 9, 11, 12).
Horn, L. & G. Ward (eds), [2004]2006 The Handbook of Pragmatics. Malden/Oxford: Wiley Blackwell (caps.4, 5, 6, 20);
Lopes, A. C., 1993. Sobre a referência nominal genérica. In Discursos: estudos de língua e cultura portuguesa. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta, pp. 115-134.

Lyons, J., 1977. Semantics. Cambridge: CUP.

Palmer, F., 1981. Semantics. Cambridge: CUP. 

Teaching method

The Curricular Unit is theoretical-practical: the theoretical classes will focus mainly on the presentation and framing of the programmatic topics; practical classes will be centred on the discussion and presentation of papers prepared by the students.

Evaluation method

Evaluation: 1 written assignment at the end of the semester (40%) and 6 quiz exams (done in class) as a means to consolidate the topics of the programme (10% each); autonomous work (evaluation based on individual or group work, critical reviews, reports, a.o.) (20%).

Subject matter

1. What is studied when semantics is studied? Lexical and propositional domains of semantics; the relationship between use and mention; notion and occurrences of notions (relation type / token); linguistic, epilingualistic and metalinguistic activities
2. Lexical semantics: semantic relations between terms. Symmetric and asymmetric relations.
3. Propositional semantics:
3.1.Referencial expressions and nominal reference construction; typologies of nominal entities; anaphoric processes;
3.2. Predicative expressions: predicates and arguments; tense, aspect and modality markers.
4. Semantics & Pragmatics
From the study of the meaning of forms to the study of the use of forms:
(i) speech acts and subjectivity marking: intersubjective relations in the construction of utterrances;
(ii) \"deixis\" and ‘neighborhood’ relations among diferent types of subjects;
(iii) construction of a point of view: evidentiality in natural languages.


Programs where the course is taught: