LING 003A. First-Year Seminar: The Meaning of "Meaning" in Post-Truth America

This class will introduce the fields of semantics and pragmatics -- the study of meaning in grammar and in practice -- by examining it specifically through the lens of society and mass media, especially focusing on advertising and on political and activist discourse, but touching on some other topics as well. Some topics include: communities of linguistic norms, the use of accents and dialects in constructing identity, literal and non-literal meaning in corporate, political, and activist discourse, presupposition in advertising, performative language and its role in society, and the role of intonation and prosody in information structure. We'll discuss phenomena like dogwhistles, gendered language, the slogans "Black/Blue/All Lives Matter", and vocal fry/uptalk, among others.
Social sciences
1 credit.
Catalog chapter: Linguistics  
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