Semantics and Pragmatics

writing on whiteboard

Semantics and pragmatics research at Stanford aims to develop theoretical models that appreciate and explain the complexity of meaning witnessed in language use.

Research

The Stanford semantics and pragmatics community encompasses a broad range of interests including:

  • Lexical semantics
  • Formal semantics and pragmatics, and their interfaces with syntax
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Numerous sub-areas of psychology, philosophy, and computer science


We share the goal of grounding theories of meaning in diverse research methodologies, including:

  • Formal linguistic analysis
  • Psycholinguistic experimentation
  • Computational modeling
  • Corpus studies
  • Fieldwork on less widely studied languages

Coursework

We offer courses ranging from introductory courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels to seminars on cutting edge topics and workshops focused on developing key research skills. 

Recent seminar topics have included:

  • Temporal interpretation
  • Experimental studies of quantification
  • Definiteness
  • Gradation
  • Modality
  • Negation
  • Conditionals
  • Causation

Community

Faculty and students participate in a wide range of research projects, many of them collaborative.  Many of them also span subfields of linguistics or reach out to neighboring disciplines.  There are usually informal reading or working groups that reflect the community's ever evolving research interests, as well as occasional larger gatherings, such as Construction of Meaning Workshops and an annual SemFest

Ongoing Labs & Projects

Upcoming Events

February
21
Date
Wed February 21st 2024, 3:30pm - 4:50pm
Speaker
Christine Bartels