AJ52065 Semantics: The English Verb

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2022

The course is not taught in Autumn 2022

Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. PhDr. Naděžda Kudrnáčová, CSc. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Naděžda Kudrnáčová, CSc.
Department of English and American Studies – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies – Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 20 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/20, only registered: 0/20
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Objectives of the course: This course offers a detailed treatment of the semantics of English verbs for MA students in combined studies. It provides students with a solid understanding of crucial aspects of verbal meaning and methods of its analysis. The course aims to encourage an active approach on the part of students toward the subject matter. Students will be acquainted with the lexico-semantic structure of English verbs, also with regard to the principled connections between verbal meaning and verbal syntactic behaviour. They will have an enhanced knowledge of major verbal classes and of the semantic structure of English verbs from the perspective of their internal logical and temporal structuration. They will also have an enhanced knowledge of major componential approaches to verbal meaning. The course is taught in English.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to: - read and understand literature in the field - discuss problems related to the semantics of English verbs - describe major verbal classes - identify and describe components of verbs´ semantic structures, also in relation to verbal syntactic behaviour - write an essay on topics in verbal semantics
  • The topics covered in the course are as follows: - ontology of verbs
  • - verbs as predication expressions
  • - types of verbs in relation to argument structure
  • - internal temporal structuration of verbs
  • - semantic dichotomies
  • - progressiveness
  • - major verb classes
  • - sense relations among verbs
  • - motion verbs with regard to language typology
  • - decompositional approaches to verbal meaning
  • - semantic primitives
  • - verbal meaning in relation to verbal syntactic behaviour
  • - unaccusativity
  • - verb alternations
    required literature
  • MURPHY, M. Lynne. Lexical meaning. First published. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, xvii, 256. ISBN 9780521677646. info
  • VENDLER, Zeno. Linguistics in philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967. info
  • HUDDLESTON, Rodney and Geoffrey K. PULLUM. The Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, xvii, 1842. ISBN 9780521431460. info
  • QUIRK, Randolph. A comprehensive grammar of the English language. Edited by David Crystal. London: Longman, 1985, x, 1779. ISBN 9780582517349. info
  • DUŠKOVÁ, Libuše. Mluvnice současné angličtiny : na pozadí češtiny. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 1988, 673 p. info
  • Linguistic semantics. Edited by William Frawley. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum associates, 1992, xvii, 533. ISBN 0805810757. info
  • COMRIE, B.: Aspect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.
    recommended literature
  • LEVIN, Beth. English verb classes and alternations : a preliminary investigation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, xviii, 348. ISBN 0-226-47532-8. info
  • CROFT, W. Verbs:Aspect and Causal Structure.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • R.M.W. DIXON. A Semantic Approach to English Grammar. 2005. info
  • FABER, Pamela B. and Ricardo MAIRAL USÓN. Constructing a lexicon of english verbs. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999, xxi, 350. ISBN 3110164167. info
Teaching methods
One 1.5 hour seminar per fortnight.
Assessment methods
Seminar attendance is compulsory. At the end of the course, students can either sit a written exam or submit an essay. The essay may deal with any topic relating to the semantics of English verbs (or to the syntax-semantics interface in verbal meaning). The length of the essay: approx. 2000 words.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught each semester.
The course is taught: every other week.
Information on course enrolment limitations: Předmět si nemohou zapsat studenti Bc. studia AJ
Information about innovation of course.
This course has been innovated under the project "Faculty of Arts as Centre of Excellence in Education: Complex Innovation of Study Programmes and Fields at FF MU with Regard to the Requirements of the Knowledge Economy“ – Reg. No. CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0228, which is cofinanced by the European Social Fond and the national budget of the Czech Republic.

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