Fall 2019

The Semantics Group is a weekly series of informal tutorials/lectures that aims at providing participants with the requisite mathematical tools and techniques to obtain a working knowledge of formal semantics. Anyone interested in natural language semantics, the relation between logic and language, λ-calculus, the syntax-semantics interface, analytical philosophy, syntactic theory or formal approaches to linguistics more generally is actively encouraged to join us. Classes are free and require only minimal background in linguistics (or some other formal training).

Time & Place: Meetings take place every Thursday 4:00m – 6:00pm, Student’s Union (Λέσχη), Ippokratous 15, 4th floor.

Everybody is most welcome, simply drop by! For any questions simply contact Winnie (lechner@gs.uoa.gr).


First meeting: Thursday, October 10 2019


What to expect. We will begin with a brief review of some formal background (set theory, relations, predicate logic), proceeding from there to λ-calculus and simple applications and exercises in the framework of transparent logical forms (von Stechow-Heim-Kratzer). The main objective is for participants to obtain a working knowledge of the basic technical machinery necessary to conduct model theoretic compositional analysis, discuss current research and address some foundational issues such as different notions of the relation between syntax and semantics. Which specific topics we cover entirely depends on the participants, their interests and proclivities. So it is important that you let me know if there are any specific areas (for non-exhaustive list see below) that you would like to see discussed.


Topics we have been covering since the first installment of the group in Spring 2014 include:

·  Predicate Calculus

·  Model theory

·  Lambda calculus

·  Type theory

·  Compositional translation

·  Quantification and Generalized Quantifier theory

·  Syntactic and semantic binding

·  Degree semantics

·  Implicatures, focus particles and aspectural adverbs

·  Vector Space Semantics

·  Syntactic islands

·  Plurality

·  Ellipsis parallelism and Focus Semantics


Handouts and reading material, including surveys and handbook articles, can be found at this Dropbox folder. (If you have problems accessing the folder, send me a brief note.)


Contact: Winfried Lechner