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Analysis of Meaning in English

Code: 106294 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504212 English Studies OB 2 2


Ana Fernandez Montraveta

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Hortènsia Curell Gotor


The knowledge learnt in the first-year subjects English Grammar I, English Grammar II and Introduction to Linguistics are taken for granted and will not be explained again.

The course requires an initial level of English C2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment). Students with C1 can understand a wide range of demanding, long texts, and recognise implicit meaning; they can express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions; they can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes; they can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course introduces students to some of the components of (the English) language related to meaning: the lexicon, semantics, and pragmatics.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values. 
  • Apply scientific ethical principles to information processing.
  • Describe and analyse—synchronically and comparatively—the main phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties of English and its historical development.
  • Distinguish and contrast the distinct paradigms and methodologies applied to the study of English.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Understand and produce written and spoken academic texts in English at advanced higher-proficient-user level (C2).
  • Use digital tools and specific documentary sources for the collection and organisation of information.
  • Use written and spoken English for academic and professional purposes, related to the study of linguistics, the philosophy of language, history, English culture and literature.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and analyse (synchronically and diachronically) the main phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic properties of English.
  2. Express oneself in English in writing and orally in an effective and correct manner, in an academic register and using appropriate terminology in relation to the study of phonetics and phonology, syntax, semantics and the history of the English language.
  3. Gather and interpret relevant data to make critical judgements on aspects of English linguistics and its practical applications.
  4. Identify and understand different models for the linguistic analysis of English at phonetic-phonological, syntactic, semantic and historical levels.
  5. Incorporate ideas and concepts from published sources into work, citing and referencing appropriately.
  6. Locate specialised and academic information and select this according to its relevance.
  7. Make use of the knowledge acquired while respecting diversity of opinion and varieties of a language.
  8. Produce written and oral academic texts at higher-proficient-user level (C2) on the concepts and skills relevant to the study of English linguistics.
  9. Understand specialised academic texts on research in English linguistics at C2 level.


UNIT 1. The lexicon and its structure

UNIT 2. Lexical and sentential semantics

UNIT 3. Meaning and cognition

UNIT 4. Pragmatics


In this subject, gender perspective will be considered in the following aspects:

1)      Making students aware of the sexist uses of language and provide non-sexist alternatives.

2)      Not allowing a sexist use of language in the students’ oral and written contributions.

3)      Guaranteeing in the classroom an atmosphere respectful with the diversity and plurality of ideas, people, and politics.

4)      Avoiding gender stereotypes in examples.

5)      Including gender-related material in Unit 4: Pragmatics.

6)      Including texts about gender in the compulsory readings.

7)      Writing, in the references, the full names of authors, instead of only the initial.


The teaching methodology will be based on the following activities:

  • Directed activities (30%, 1.8 cr.)
  • Supervised activities (15%, 0.9 cr.)
  • Autonomous activities (50%, 3 cr.)
  • Assessment activities (5%, 0.3 cr.)

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Individual activities 15 0.6 1, 5, 6, 8, 3
Practice exercises 15 0.6 1, 2, 7, 8
Theory classes 35 1.4 9, 4
Type: Supervised      
In-class activities and group discussions 10 0.4 2, 7, 5, 3
Type: Autonomous      
Exercises 25 1 1, 2, 6, 3
Individual study 25 1 4, 6


The final grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Final exam: 40%
  • Midterm: 30%
  • Group assignment: 15%
  • Homework, in-class activities, and progression: 15%


Please note:

1)      The two exams and the group assignment are COMPULSORY, as well as having completed 70 % of homework and class activities.

2)      The final exam is not a second midterm, that is, it will include all the content covered in the course.

3)      The minimum grade on assignments and exams to form average is 4.

4)      The delivery of 30% of the assessment items (assignments / exercises / exams) excludes the possibility of obtaining the status of No avaluable as a final course grade.

5)      The level of English will be taken into account in the correction of written work and in the final evaluation. It will represent 15% of the grade.

6)      In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.


Procedure for Reviewing Grades Awarded

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.



To be able to sit reassessment, you must have passed at least one of the two exams. The maximum grade that can be obtained through re-assessment is 6.


VERY IMPORTANT: it is possible to have passed both exams and still fail the course since there are some activities that are excluded from reassessment.


Evaluation Activities Excluded from Reassessment

The following activities are not eligible for reassessment: the group activity, homework, and in-class activities. Activities in which there has been some irregularity will also be excluded from reassessment.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Final exam 40 2 0.08 1, 4, 8
Group activity 15 10 0.4 9, 2, 5, 6, 3
Homework, in-class assignments and progression 15 11 0.44 9, 1, 2, 7, 6
Midterm exam 30 2 0.08 9, 1, 8


Aitchison, Jean. 1994. Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon. Oxford: Blackwell.

Ariel, Mira. 2010. Defining Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Croft, William & Alan Cruse. 2004. Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cruse, Alan. 2004. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cann, Ronnie, Ruth Kempson & Eleni Gregoromichelaki. 2009. Semantics. An Introduction to Meaning in Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hanks, Patrick (ed). 2008. Lexicology. London: Routledge.

Hurford, James R. 2007. Semantics. A Coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lipka, Leonhard. 1992. An Outline of English Lexicology. 2nd ed. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Lyons, John. 1975. Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mey, Jacob L. 1993. Pragmatics. An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

Palmer, Frank Robert. 1976. Semantics: A New Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.