2023-2024 / LING0012-1

Semantics: selected topics (including topics of discourse analysis)


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in multilingual communication (120 ECTS) (Digital media education)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in linguistics (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


Raymond Echitchi, Julien Perrez

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course is devoted to the study of meaning in language and society. It is based on an in-depth study of contents related to cognitive semantics and critical discourse analysis (CDA).

The course is divided into two main modules dealing respectively with (i) cognitive linguistics and, more specifically, Conceptual Metaphor Theory (basic concepts, identification, role of metaphors in the construction of our mental universe, analysis of metaphors in political discourse) and (ii) Crititcal Discours Analysis (tenets, methodological and practical considerations).

The course is organized into 11 sessions:

Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics
Session 3: Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis
Session 4: Conceptual Metaphor Theory (part 1)
Session 5: Conceptual Metaphor Theory (part 2)
Session 6: Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis
Session 7: Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis: discourse-historical approach
Session 8: Conceptual metaphors in political discourse (part 1)
Session 9: Conceptual metaphors in political discourse (part 2)
Session 10: Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis: socio-cognitive approach
Session 11: The use of corpora in Critical Discourse Analysis

Each session will include a theoretical introduction and the analysis of one or more case studies.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the role of language in the construction of social phrenomena;
  • master the basic concepts of conceptual metaphor theory and critical discourse analysis;
  • analyze specialized scientific articles on semantics and discourse analysis;
  • use the theoretical concepts dicussed in class to analyse data, which could be purely linguistic or multimodal;
  • write an original scientific paper on subject related to the course's main themes, in compliance with current editorial standards;
  • orally present the results of an original research project (cf. paper).

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

There are no formal prerequisites, but a strong curiosity, social awareness and interest in the study of language are welcome.

Students are also expected to have a sufficient command of English.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Interactive classroom sessions;

Reading assignments and exercises at home;

Creation of an individual learning portfolio;

Writing of an original scientific paper.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Weekly sessions of 2 hours.

English will be the main medium of instruction.

Start: Tuesday 19/09/23

Recommended or required readings

The course will based on the following reference books:

  • Croft, W. & Cruse, A. (2004). Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Kövecses, Z. (2010). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford; Oxford University Press.
  • Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By.Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. (2015). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGE Publications.
Some scientific articles (most of the time in English) will also be anlayzed to further illustrate some specific questions discussed in the classroom. 

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam AND oral exam

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

The evaluation will consist of

(1) the writing and presentation of an original research paper (80%, of which 75% for the paper and 25% for the presentation), deadline: January 11th, 2024;

Research paper presentations will take place during the exam session and will serve as an oral exam.

(2) the creation of an individual learning portfolio (20%), deadline: December 19th, 2023.

Instructions on how to complete these two assignments will be provided during the course (see also eCampus platform).

These conditions apply to both exam sessions.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Raymond ECHITCHI, Lecturer
Department of modern languages: Linguistics, literature and translation
Place Cockerill 3
bureau: A2/6/39 (6th floor of A2 building)
Tél.: +32 4 3665438
Office hours on appointment
Julien PERREZ, Professor
Department of modern languages: Linguistics, literature and translation
Place Cockerill 3
bureau: A2/5/17 (5th floor of A2 building)
Tél.: +32 4 3665837
Office hours on appointment

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

eCampus patform
eCampus platform