Elizabeth Coppock

Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Elizabeth Coppock
Email: ecoppock@bu.edu
Web: http://eecoppock.info
Office phone: 617-353-6221
Fax: 617-358-4641
Office number: Linguistics 110
Office address: Linguistics Program, 621 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Fall 2017: M, T, 9-10:30, or by appointment

BA, Northwestern University
PhD, Stanford University

Prof. Coppock teaches and does research on linguistic meaning (semantics and pragmatics, two non-disjoint subfields). Her research touches on a range of issues related to the nature of meaning, how it is determined, and the direct and indirect channels through which it can be conveyed. These include (i) the distinction between definiteness and determinacy, as evidenced by indeterminate definites of the form "the only X", and so-called "relative readings" of superlatives; (ii) the inquisitive perspective on meaning, and its potential to explain the ignorance implicatures of superlative modifiers such as "at least" and "at most"; (iii) the nature of opinion statements and subjective attitude verbs like Swedish "tycka"; and (iv) reference de se and egophoricity, especially in Kathmandu Newari. She is also fascinated by cross-linguistic variation, and is currently leading a large-scale project aimed at documenting and understanding variation across languages in the distribution and interpretation of the quantity words (e.g. "many", "much", "few", and "little"), especially in the superlative (e.g. "(the) most").

Courses

Fall 2017

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 732

Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

web A1 Coppock MWF 3:35-4:25 CAS 233
Introduction to the semantics of natural language at an intermediate level. Topics include (but are not limited to) predication and quantification, scope and anaphora, problems of discourse analysis, various issues at the interface of semantics and pragmatics, and crosslinguistic semantics. [Prereq: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 432; Previously offered as CAS LX 503 "Semantics II"]

Spring 2018 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 631

Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning

A1 Coppock TR 11-12:15 TBA
Systematic examination of how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, and how it can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. This course also touches on various aspects of pragmatics—the study of how meaning is shaped by context. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 331; Previously offered as CAS LX 502 "Semantics I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

GRS LX 733

Intermediate Pragmatics: Meaning in Context

A1 Coppock TR 3:30-4:45 TBA
Covers the main areas of linguistic pragmatics, the study of language use and the relation between meaning and context. We will study pragmatic phenomena such as presuppositions, implicatures, anaphora, and focus, from the perspective of linguistic semantics. [Prereq: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 433; Previously offered as CAS LX 504 "Topics in Pragmatics"]