Comparative philology

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-LIN/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the tools for the synchronic and diachronic analysis of ancient and modern languages, also with reference to the history of linguistic thought within which the various theoretical and methodological achievements of the discipline are placed. A part of the course is dedicated to the presentation of the fundamentals of articulatory phonetics and phonology, together with the basic notions for the description and explanation of linguistic phenomena on the morphological, syntactic and lexical level. Another part of the course focuses on the historical dimension of the language and on linguistic variation, with particular attention to linguistic change and language typology. Finally, the basics of the historical-comparative method are illustrated, and the notion of linguistic reconstruction is defined: to achieve this objective, reference is made to the field of Indo-European studies, which historically constitute the paradigm and the methodological term of comparison of historical linguistics.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the students will know the main orientations in the history of linguistic thought and of linguistic science in Western cultures; they will also know the properties of historical-natural languages with particular reference to the functional and historical dimension. The students will be aware of the relationship between general reflection on language and empirical investigation of individual linguistic facts and will know the boundaries within which heuristic processes such as comparison, reconstruction and etymology are placed; they will also know the technical terminology specific to the discipline with reference to the areas and sectors examined, as well as a series of essential bibliographic tools. With reference to more technical and methodological aspects, the students will be able to distinguish between phonetic and graphic data, particularly in the case of the analysis of ancient linguistic forms, and they will be able to recognise and analyse specific synchronic and diachronic facts related to ancient and modern languages, applying rules and categories elaborated by general linguistic reflection; the student will also be able to distinguish the observation and description of empirical data from their interpretation and will use the appropriate metalinguistic terminology in the description of phenomena; finally, the students will be able to apply the historical-comparative method in the comparison of ancient Indo-European languages' forms and in the etymological investigation.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course aims to provide students with the tools for the synchronic and diachronic analysis of ancient and modern languages, also with reference to the history of linguistic thought within which the various theoretical and methodological achievements of the discipline are set.
In the first part of the course (didactic unit A) the elements of articulatory phonetics and phonology will be presented together with the basic notions for the description and explanation of linguistic phenomena of morphological, syntactic and lexical order.
Subsequently (didactic unit B) attention will be focused on the historical dimension of the language and on linguistic variation, with particular attention to linguistic change and linguistic typology.
Finally (didactic unit C), through the examination of fundamental acquisitions in Indo-European linguistics, aspects of the comparative historical method will be illustrated and the notion of linguistic reconstruction will be defined.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
The teaching is offered in a lecture format. The lectures are designed for the students to acquire the knowledge which is the subject of the discipline.
As for the acquisition of specific disciplinary skills, exercises will be carried out in the classroom relating to phonetic transcription of words.
Attendance at the course is strongly recommended.
Bibliography
Attending students

Teaching Units A and B
G. GRAFFI, Breve storia della linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2019.
R. SIMONE, Nuovi fondamenti di linguistica, Milano, McGraw-Hill, 2013.

Teaching Unit C
F. FANCIULLO, Introduzione alla linguistica storica, Bologna, il Mulino, 2013.

NON-attending students

Teaching Units A and B
G. GRAFFI, Breve storia della linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2019.
R. SIMONE, Nuovi fondamenti di linguistica, Milano, McGraw-Hill, 2013.
F. ALBANO LEONI - P. Maturi, Manuale di fonetica, Roma, Carocci, 2018: i primi due capitoli.
G. F. ARCODIA - C. MAURI, La diversità linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2018.

Teaching Unit C
F. FANCIULLO, Introduzione alla linguistica storica, terza edizione, Bologna, il Mulino, 2013.
R. Lazzeroni (a cura di), Linguistica storica, Roma, Carocci, 2017.
Assessement methods and criteria
Oral test: The oral test consists of an interview and discussion on the topics indicated in the programme, aimed at ascertaining the students' knowledge of the contents of the proposed texts and - for the students attending - of the aspects dealt with during the classes. In addition to in-depth knowledge of the contents proposed, students must demonstrate that they are able to apply the knowledge acquired in order to analyse and interpret the linguistic facts submitted to them in an appropriate manner.
The clarity and punctuality of the answers and the precise and correct use of the specialist vocabulary of the discipline will also contribute to the final evaluation.
At the beginning of the test, all students will be asked to make a phonetic transcription of an Italian word chosen by the teacher, using the international phonetic alphabet, and to describe the sounds that compose it from the point of view of their articulatory features.
Marks are out of 30.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)