English linguistics

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with an opportunity for an in-depth reflection on language as a system and as use. 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 course the students will be able to define and discuss the concepts of meaning and interpretation; connotation and denotation; sense relations; inference, reference and deixis; politeness; principles of communication and speech acts. They will have a knowledge of the historical developments of the language and of phenomena of language change and variation. The students will acquire specific metalinguistic competence and they will be able to analyse brief texts in order to identify conversational implicatures; politeness strategies; variation and semantic change. They will effectively illustrate and discuss sense relations and establish connections between various fields of linguistics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Due to the current health emergency measures the following changes are necessary:

Teaching methods
The course will be taught remotely on the online platform Microsoft Teams. Lectures and seminars will be streaming online on the days and time slots assigned according to the lessons timetable. Recordings of lectures and seminars will be made available on the Teams platform.

There will be no changes to the course syllabus for attending and non-attending students.

Assessment methods and criteria
They will remain unchanged. If necessary the written exam will be held remotely.
Course syllabus
The course consists of the following units:
(A) "Lexis: Words and word meaning";
(B) "Pragmatics: Meaning in context";
(C) "Layers of meaning: Variation and the legacy of time".

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

Unit A centres upon semantics and sense relations in English, and it explores lexicology as a level of language analysis. 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. Unit C studies the construction and interpretation of meaning through case studies including examples of social and regional variation, the use of language in history, lexis and semantic change, and the observation of original documents.

The course syllabus will be valid until February 2022. Starting from the 2022 summer exam session only the 2021-22 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 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.

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.

Unit B
- Yule, George. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP.
- O'Keefe, Anne, et al. 2011. Introducing Pragmatics in Use. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Unit C
- Baugh, Albert and Cable, Thomas. 1993. A history of the English language. London: Routledge.
- Jucker, Andreas, et al. 2013. Meaning in the history of English. Words and texts in context. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: Benjamins

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 unit A, B and C. 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.
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
Educational website(s)
Tuesdays 14 to 17. Please get in touch via email to make an appointment.
Teams / Piazza S. Alessandro III piano