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: Office hours will be held via video conference, by appointment, until classes are held on campus again; please contact via Slack or email for 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.

Courses

Fall 2020 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 690

Topics in Linguistics: Truth

A1 Coppock MWF 10:10-11 TBA
Approaches the notion of truth through the study of lies and other forms of deception, partial truths, imprecision, subjectivity, bullshit, hustle, and nonsense. Builds on perspectives from linguistics, philosophy, media/communication, law (perjury), and political science (fact-checking). [Prereq: CAS LX 250 or permission of instructor]
[Meets with CAS LX 390]

GRS LX 732

Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

A1 Coppock MWF 1:25-2:15 TBA
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 2021 (tentative)

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

GRS LX 631

Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning

A1 Coppock TR 2-3:15 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. Please note that this course cannot be taken for credit towards the MA or PhD program in Linguistics.]
[Meets with CAS LX 331; 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

GRS LX 733

Experimental Pragmatics

A1 Coppock TR 9:30-10:45 TBA
Hands-on seminar on pragmatics, the study of how meaning beyond the literal is communicated in context. Students will study research articles in pragmatics that use experimental methods, design their own original experiment, and run a student-designed experiment as a group. [Prereq: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) and previous college experience with basic statistics, or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with CAS LX 433; Previously offered as CAS LX 504 "Topics in Pragmatics"]
[This is a revised title and course description; previously offered as "Intermediate Pragmatics: Meaning in Context".]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Digital/Multimedia Expressio
    • Creativity/Innovation