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

Helena Virgínia Topa Valentim


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


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

6 quiz exams (done in class) as a means to consolidate the topics of the programme (10% each)(60%), 1 written assignment at the end of the semester(40%)

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: