The courses in the thematic area Theory focus on the formal modeling of natural language meaning and its theoretical foundations. The following key issues will be addressed:


  • What ontological status do meanings of linguistic expressions have, that is, what is the metaphysics of meaning?
  • How can linguistic knowledge and general world-­knowledge be dynamically integrated into logical representations?
  • How can we apply the methods of formal semantics to the flexible interpretation of literary texts? How do pragmatic factors, such as information-structural conditions or gestures, influence the constitution of linguistic meaning?

The following courses will be offered:


A1 (Gottfried Vosgerau) The metaphysics of meaning

A2 (Nicholas Asher) Formal and distributional lexical semantics

A3 (Sebastian Löbner) Frame theory and semantics

A4 (Daniel Altshuler) Temporal interpretation of narrative discourse: Exploring the interaction between prominence and coherence

A5 (Katharina Hartmann) Information structure: Intonation and meaning