Spring course: Introduction to Meaning: The Language of Lying

SPRING COURSE: LING 201

Introduction to Meaning

Lying is universal. Lying is everywhere – in the private sphere, political sphere and on the internet. It’s a common human behavior and a property of human speech on par with our other cognitive abilities. But it also involves sociocultural aspects. In this course, we’re interested in how lying is understood and how the practices of lying are acted out in different communities. What is lying,exactly? Is it just a kind of human behavior? Is it a matter of truth and falsity? A particular type of verbal act? Lying is an appealing topic for linguistic study, and in this course, we will answer all of these questions from the perspectives of linguistics and the philosophy of language. We’ll look at jokes, fiction, irony, sarcasm, bullshitting, metaphor, overstatements and understatements, etc., and determine whether each can be considered a lie.

This course is a non-technical introduction to the theory of meaning. Come join us if you are interested in the study of speech and behavior, philosophy of language, or the scientific study of language!

Lecture: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30-10:20am | Quiz: Monday: 3:30-4:20 | 5 credits | MGH 238: SLN: 16183. Direct questions to sano.


Jiahui Huang
PhD student and Undergraduate Adviser, Linguistics
Guggenheim 414D
(206) 685 4846
Box 352425

LING 242 -Intro to Meaning poster.pdf

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