Semantics 2, WiSe 2016/17

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NEW ROOM: IG 3.214 (Sailer's office)

Preparational material

Course description

In Semantics 1, we showed how to arrive at an interpretation for simple English sentences. In this follow-up course the participants will extend their analytic skills to more advanced phenomena, such as:

  • scope ambiguity ("Everything that glitters isn't gold.")
  • the semantics of embedded clauses
  • semantic concord phenomena (as in substandard "nobody ain't doin' nothing")
  • the semantics of modal auxiliaries ("must", "can", ...)
  • idioms and collocations

Entrance test

In order to participate in the course you need to send your solutions to the following test to no later than October 16, 2016. (note: extended deadline from a previous announcement!)


You can find some help on the page with the mock exam for the Semantics 1 class of the summer term 2015: mock exam SoSe 2015

Unfortunately notifications cannot be sent out by October 12 but only after the first meeting of the course. So, please come to the course meeting in any case

If you have successfully passed the written exam of a Semantics 1 course by Frank Richter or Manfred Sailer in one of the last three terms, you need not do the entrance test.

Material for week 5


  • Read Chapter 5, section 5.4 of the textbook.
  • Provide the lexical entries of an intransitive and a ditransitive verb (including the local semantics!)

Material for week 4


Slides: File:WS1617-Interface-slides04-final.pdf

Homework for week 4

  • Read Chapter 5, section 5.1-5.3 of the textbook. You are welcome to read Section 5.4 as well. (Section 5.4. is long but not very densely written)
  • Provide the PARTS lists for the words and phrases for our example Marty likes Jennifer from week 2. What are the possible EXCONT-values for the sentence?

Material for week 3

Homework for week 3

  • Read Chapter 3 of the textbook, p.79-104
  • Provide the logical form of the sentence: Marty travelled.
  • Compute the truth conditions of the sentence in your model.
  • Provide the lexical entries and the syntactic analysis of the sentence (indicate the features PHON, HEAD, and SUBCAT)

Slides of week 3

Slides: File:Sem2-slides03-final.pdf

Material for week 2

Exercise sheet: File:SoSe16-mockexam.pdf

The examples in the text are based on Shakespeare's play Macbeth. The full text of the play is available on Projekt Gutenberg.

We will uses the movie Back to the Future in class.

Background links

  • Predicate logic:,_SoSe_2016_(Sailer):_Week_3,_SoSe_2016_(Sailer):_Weeks_6_and_7

Additional material for week 2.

Material for week 1

Literary scenario: Back to the Future