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 Department, 621 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Fall 2019: M 1:45-3:45; W 1:30-2:30; or by appointment
Lab: http://sites.bu.edu/lislab/people/

BA, Northwestern University
PhD, Stanford University

Prof. Coppock’s research concerns the nature of meaning in natural language, and the principles yielding the meaning of a complex expression from the meanings of its parts. She approaches these questions through detailed study of particularly revealing phenomena including definiteness markers, exclusives, modified numerals, comparatives and superlatives, quantity words, egophors, and subjective attitude verbs.

Prof. Coppock is currently the Principal Investigator for a project entitled “Most and more: Quantity superlatives across languages,” funded by the Swedish Research Council. The aim of this project is to document and understand cross-linguistic variation in the behavior of quantity words such as “many” and “much” and their superlative forms such as “most” and “the most”. This project employs targeted semantic fieldwork across a broad range of languages to identify universals and map out the variability across languages that is found in this particularly volatile area of grammar.

To learn more about Prof. Coppock’s research and publications, please visit her website: http://eecoppock.info.


Fall 2019

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 235

Language in the Contemporary World: Language, Society, and the Law

web A1 Coppock MWF 10:10-11 CAS 223
Exploration of the role of human language in society, focusing on language in legal settings. Addresses governmental policy on language; language crimes such as perjury, solicitation, and bribery; the meaning of consent; and the linguistics of legal interpretation. [Prereq: none]
  • Please note that for the Linguistics major, students may count up to 1 course below the level of CAS LX 250. This course will not count, however for degree credit in the Linguistics honors program or in the joint majors.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration

CAS LX 432

Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

web A1 Coppock MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS 426
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 GRS LX 732; Previously offered as CAS LX 503 "Semantics II"]

Spring 2020 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

Advanced Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics: Degree Semantics

A1 Coppock F 2:30-5:15 PRB 150
The semantics of expressions of degree, including vague, gradable expressions like “tall", positive and comparative forms (“taller”, “tallest”), and degree-denoting expressions like “six feet”. Examination of multiple theoretical perspectives, and investigation of crosslinguistic variation through literature and new data collection. [Prereq: CAS LX 432/ GRS LX 732 Intermediate Semantics or equivalent (or permission of the instructor)]
[Meets with GRS LX 736]

CAS LX 331

Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning

A1 Coppock TR 12:30-1:45 CAS B20
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. Please note that this course cannot be taken for credit towards the MA or PhD program in Linguistics.]
[Meets with GRS LX 631; Also offered as MET LX 531; Previously offered as CAS LX 502 "Semantics I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • The Individual in Community
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking