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English, Cognitive Semantics: Language, mind and meaning, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Engelska, Kognitiv semantik: Språk, tanke och betydelse

This syllabus is valid: 2023-07-24 and until further notice

Course code: 1EN091

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: English: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Language Studies

Established by: Faculty director of studies, Faculty of arts, 2022-03-03

Revised by: Head of Department of Language Studies, 2023-03-16


The course is divided into two modules:  

Module 1: Theory and method, 4.5 credits
This module studies theories, models and key concepts in cognitive linguistics. The focus is on the relationship between cognition, embodied experience and linguistic meaning, as well as on authentic language in use. Students are trained in identifying, analyzing and synthesizing various linguistic phenomena on the basis of the cognitive linguistic framework.   

Module 2: Individual specialization, 3.0 credits
In this module, students will carry out a practical application of the theories and methods discussed in Module 1.

Expected learning outcomes

To be awarded a Pass grade, the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • account for established theories, models and key concepts in cognitive semantics
  • describe the relationship between cognition, embodied experience and linguistic meaning
  • account for the relationship between language in use and meaning construction

Competence and skills

  • identify linguistic manifestations in selected authentic texts
  • analyse linguistic meaning using established methods and models in cognitive semantics
  • design models for meaning construction
  • independently find relevant literature needed to complete assignments
  • display an ability to give a clear account of, and discuss, both orally and in writing, their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based

Judgement and approach

  • independently evaluate the reliability of different kinds of sources
  • independently assess, rank and critically evaluate the ability of different texts to describe and model theory.

Required Knowledge

Knowledge of English equivalent of English 6/English Course B from Swedish upper secondary school. At least 90 ECTS with academic progression in English, including at least 15 ECTS corresponding to level 61-90 hp in the Swedish academic system, or equivalent knowledge.

Form of instruction

The course is entirely net-based and comprises a few online seminars. Study groups can be set up in Umeå, should there be interest in this. Access to a computer is necessary to complete the course assignments. English is the medium of instruction in both modules.

Examination modes

All examination is conducted in English.

Module 1: Examination consists of assessment of a written assignment and the student's active participation in group discussions.

Module 2: Examination consist of assessment of an individual written assignment and the presentation of the individual assignment at a seminar.

The examiner can decide on deviations from the modes of examination in the syllabus for a student who has been determined eligible for pedagogical support due to a disability. Individual adjustments to the mode of examination will be made on the basis of the student's needs. The mode of examination will be adjusted in relation to the expected learning outcomes. Student in need of Individual adjustments to the mode of examination, should request this at the department no later than 10 days before the examination. The examiner makes a decision based on the request, and the decision is communicated to the student.

Grades awarded for individual written assignments are Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd (VG)), Pass (Godkänd (G)) or Fail (Underkänd (U)). Grades awarded for active participation in group discussions are Pass (Godkänd) or Fail (Underkänd). In order to be awarded the grade Pass with distinction on the entire course, a student must have achieved a Pass with distinction grade on both modules.  

A student who has been awarded a Pass grade cannot be re-examined.
A student who has not received a Pass grade on an exam has the right to re-take the exam (a re-sit) on a course on which they have ever been registered. The first re-sit shall be offered no later than two months after the regular exam, but no earlier than ten working days after the result of that exam has been announced. For tests held in May or June, the first re-sit may be offered within three months of the regular exam. The date for the re-sit shall be announced no later than in conjunction with the regular exam. At least one more re-sit shall be offered within a year of the regular exam.  
In cases where an exam cannot be repeated according to the rules in effect regarding re-sits, it will be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such a task should be reasonably proportionate to the missed exam.
An examiner may decide that a student who has not quite met the examination requirements, but is close to a Pass grade, be given the opportunity to take a supplementary examination to achieve the Pass grade. Such an examination shall be individually tailored to the goal(s) that the student has not met, and shall be arranged within two weeks after the result of the examination has been announced, but before the next examination session. A supplementary examination can only raise a Fail grade to a Pass grade; award of a grade higher than Pass is not allowed. If the student so wishes, they have the right to take a re-sit instead of a supplementary examination, which gives them the opportunity to achieve a Pass with Distinction.

Other regulations

The final date for the submission/completion of assignments falls on the last day of the semester, unless otherwise stated by the teacher. All assignments need to be completed or submitted within the time frame set by the teacher in order to be considered for examination, otherwise they must be completed over again.

In the event of a decision that the course will no longer be offered, or if the syllabus has been revised, students are guaranteed at least three exams (including the regular one) based on the previous syllabus during a time of no more than two years after the previous syllabus ceased to apply or the decision was made that the course no longer be offered.