English linguistics

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The module aims to provide students with an opportunity for an in-depth reflection on language as a system. Designed for second and third year students, it provides insights into the fields of semantics, pragmatics and historical linguistics. The objective of the module is to guide students towards a good understanding of processes of codification and decodification of meaning, and to give them a grounding knowledge of English in diachronic perspective.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the module the students will master the fundamental concepts and specific terminology of Semantics, Pragmatics and Historical linguistics. They will be able to describe the historical developments of the language and identify illustrate examples of language change and variation. Students will be able to define and discuss the concepts of meaning and interpretation, ambiguity, connotation and denotation, sense relations, inference, reference, deixis, presupposition, principles of communication and speech acts.
The students will have acquired specific metalinguistic competence. They will be able to analyse brief texts in order to identify phenomena of semantic change, dialectal variation, conversational implicatures, and politeness strategies. They will effectively illustrate and discuss sense relations and analyse their communicative effects. Students will be able to establish connections between various fields of linguistics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course "English linguistics: Meaning, variation and change" consists of the following three teaching units:
(A) "Lexis: words and word meaning";
(B) "Introduction to Pragmatics: Meaning in context";
(C) "Historical perspectives on the English language" / "Variation and the legacy of time".

Students who wish to obtain 6 ECTS credits will select teaching units A and B or C. Students who wish to obtain 9 ECTS credits will choose all teaching units A, B and C.
PLEASE NOTE: Unit C is also taught as unit C for the course "World Englishes" (second term course, Prof. Elisabetta Lonati); therefore, students wishing to take "World Englishes" for 9 ECTS credits will select unit C from the "English Linguistics" programme in the first term.

Teaching unit A centres upon semantics and sense relations in English, and it explores lexicology as a level of language analysis. Teaching unit B introduces the study of meaning from the perspective of Pragmatics by focussing on context, language use and speakers' intention beyond formal and truth-conditional semantics. Teaching unit C approaches the study of English in its historical dimension and it explores the concepts of language change and language variation with particular attention to the lexicon and semantic change.

The course syllabus will be valid until February 2021. Starting from the 2021 summer exam session only the 2020-21 course syllabus will be accepted.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is addressed to 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate students. The course is taught in English; course materials and the reading list require a high level of language competence (level B2 or higher). Students from degrees other than Foreign Languages, Erasmus students and incoming students from other mobility programmes are admitted provided they possess a good knowledge of English.
Teaching methods
The teaching methods adopted in this course include traditional lectures, discussion-based sessions and practical exercises ranging from close reading of texts, analysis and discussion of speech events and verbal interactions with the support of audio-visual materials, individual or group practical exercises.
Teaching Resources
The website of the course is available on the online teaching platform Ariel (https://aandreanili.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/) that the students are encouraged to consult regularly. The lessons slides, notes and any materials discussed in class for each teaching unit will be made available on the course website. The bibliography for the exam is provided below. Detailed chapter and section references will be given in class and published on the course website.

Teaching unit A
- Jackson, Howard and Etienne Zé Amvela. 2004. Words, meaning and vocabulary. London and New York: Continuum.
- Svensén, Bo. 2009. A handbook of lexicography. Cambridge: CUP.

Teaching unit B
- Yule, George. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP.
and one of the following:
- O'Keefe, Anne, Brian Clancy and Svenja Adolph. 2011. Introducing Pragmatics in Use, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. (selected chapters)
- Thomas, Jenny. 2013 [1995]. Meaning in interaction. An introduction to pragmatics. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. (selected chapters)

Unità didattica C
- Fisiak, Jacek. 1983. An Outline History of English. Poznan: Kantor.
and one of the following:
- Barber, Charles. 1993. The English Language. A Historical Introduction. Cambridge: CUP. (selected chapters)
- Jucker, Andreas. 2011. History of English and English Historical Linguistics. Stuttgart: Klett. (selected chapters)
- Seargeant, Philip and Joan Swann (eds.). 2012. English in the World. History, Diversity, and Change, Routledge: The Open University. (selected chapters)

Instructions for non attending / distance learning students:
The course syllabus for attending and non-attending students is the same. Since difficulties may arise from preparing the exam on your own, distance learning students are advised to allocate enough study time to read and familiarise with the bibliography and to get in touch with the course lecturers.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will be a written computer based exam in English. There will be a test for each teaching unit A, B and C, consisting of 15 to 20 questions each. Questions will be worth 1, 2 or 3 points for a total of 30 points, and they will include multiple choice questions, true or false and open-ended questions. Students have 30 minutes to complete each test. The final mark results from the average of the mark received for each test.
Students can choose to resit the exam if they are unhappy with their final mark. Subject to success in each of the written tests (minimun required mark 18/30), students can opt for an oral interview on the exam programme in English. The length of the oral exam will depend on the number of teaching units the student wishes to take.
Oral exam assessment criteria: 1. knowledge and understanding of core topics; 2. ability to make links between the teaching units; 3. clarity of presentation; 4. lexical and terminological propriety; 5. discourse organisation.
International students and Erasmus incoming students are ecouraged to get in touch with the course lecturers.
Exam procedures and assessment methods for disabled students and students with specific learning disabilities must be arranged in advance with the lecturers in agreement with the office serviziodsa@unimi.it.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Parini Ilaria
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Andreani Angela
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/12 - LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATION - ENGLISH - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Andreani Angela
Tuesdays 14 to 17. Please get in touch via email to make an appointment.
Teams / Piazza S. Alessandro III piano