Theoretical linguistics

A.Y. 2020/2021
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
L-LIN/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course is an introduction to the scientific study of human verbal language in its many aspects and articulations. The course provides a systematic treatment of the various levels of articulation of language (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon) with a constant focus on the semantic and pragmatic dimensions and the study of linguistic variation in typological perspective.
The aim of the course is to develop students' awareness of the complexity of the architecture of language and to make them acquire a series of basic theoretical and methodological skills which will enable them to better understand the nature of linguistic facts. Students will be able to spend this knowledge in all the work areas connected with the Degree Course in Humanities.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will know the specific characteristics of human verbal language and the methods for its scientific study, its levels of articulation and the main phenomena related to each of them; the student will also have basic knowledge of linguistic typology and will have a good command of the technical vocabulary of linguistics.
The student must also be able to recognise remarkable linguistic facts and phenomena and to give a critical interpretation of them with reference to the categories elaborated by modern linguistic reflection. The student will be able to describe linguistic facts and phenomena using the specific technical terminology of the discipline in the most precise way possible.
With reference to the more technical and methodological aspects, the student must be able to correctly interpret and carry out the phonetic transcriptions according to the conventions of the International Phonetic Association (IPA), to correctly break down words and phrases into their constituent elements and to analyse them properly.
Course syllabus and organization

A-H

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
The lessons will be held in remote mode, partly in asynchronous form, by uploading recorded lessons and other materials to the Ariel website, partly in synchronous form, with lessons held on MS Teams or Zoom platforms. During the synchronous lessons, which will in any case be recorded and made available to students, the contents of the course will be framed and guidance will be given on the exam and there will be exercises and in-depth analysis of some aspects of the topics covered.
Students will find all the information to access the lessons (links, etc.), any changes in the program and any changes in the reference material (bibliography, etc.) on the course's Ariel website.
If it is not possible to take the exam in the manner provided for in the Syllabus, the exam will take place in telematic form in the manner that will be communicated on the Ariel website at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
The first part of the course (Part A) will deal with the main aspects related to the four internal levels of articulation of language (phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary and semantics); the second part (Part B) will introduce some particular perspectives on the study of linguistic facts (pragmatic, typology, interlinguistics) and will focus on various aspects of language grammar.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
The teaching is carried out in a lecture format and is designed for the students to acquire the knowledge subject of the discipline.
The following materials will be uploaded to the Ariel website:
1) some slides projected during the lectures and related to topics which are not present in the texts in the bibliography
2) some useful aids for the preparation of the exam (exercises, sheet containing the scheme of the IPA alphabet, etc.)
3) indications of some websites of particular interest for the study of the discipline.
As regards the acquisition of the specific skills being taught, exercises will be carried out in the classroom relating to phonetic transcription and morphemic breakdown of words.
Attendance at the course is strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Part A:
- lesson notes
- G. Berruto, M. Cerruti, La linguistica. Un corso introduttivo, Torino, UTET Università, 2011 (and successive editions).
- E. Banfi, N. Grandi, Lingue d'Europa. Elementi di storia e di tipologia linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2003 (and successive editions).

Part B:
- lesson notes
A text of your choice from the following:
- G. Graffi, La frase: l'analisi logica, Roma, Carocci, 2012 (and successive editions)
- M. Squartini, Il verbo, Roma, Carocci, 2015 (and successive editions)
- P. Acquaviva, Il nome, Roma, Carocci, 2013 (and successive editions)
- M. Prandi, L'analisi del periodo, Roma, Carocci, 2013 (and successive editions)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral test: The oral test consists of an interview 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 lessons. In addition to the in-depth knowledge of the contents proposed, the 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.
Other tasks that may be required of students are the breakdown of a word into morphemes (with the description of the type of morphemes) and the division of a sentence into its immediate constituents.
IMPORTANT: the correct phonetic transcription and phonetic description of the assigned word is a necessary condition (even if not sufficient) to pass the exam. If the student is not able to transcribe the word correctly and/or describe its sounds correctly, their exam will be considered insufficient.
The grade is expressed in thirtieths.
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

I-Z

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
The course will be held remotely. The lessons mainly will be in sync on the platform Zoom.
Students can find all the information to take part into the lessons (link etc.) on the platform Ariel. On the same platform infromation will provided about possible changes in the program and in the bibliography of the course.
In the case the exam cannot be organized according to the modalities specified in the syllabus, it will be held remotely. All information about the modality of the exam will be pubblished on the platform Ariel at the end of the course.
Course syllabus
The first part of the course (part A) will deal with the main aspects related to the four internal levels of articulation of language (phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary and semantics); the second part (part B) will focus on the characteristics of inflectional morphology in the world's languages.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission.
Teaching methods
The teaching is carried out in a lecture format and is designed for the students to acquire the knowledge subject of the discipline.
The following materials will be uploaded to the Ariel website:
1) some slides projected during the lectures and related to topics which are not present in the texts in the bibliography
2) some useful aids for the preparation of the exam (exercises, sheet containing the scheme of the IPA alphabet, etc.)
3) indications of some websites of particular interest for the study of the discipline.
As regards the acquisition of the specific skills being taught, exercises will be carried out relating to phonetic transcription and morphemic breakdown of words.
Attendance at the course is strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Part A:
- G. Berruto, M. Cerruti, La linguistica. Un corso introduttivo, Torino, UTET Università, 2011 (and successive editions).
- E. Banfi- N. Grandi, Lingue d'Europa. Elementi di storia e di tipologia linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2003 (and successive editions).

Part B:
- A. M. Thornton, Morfologia, Roma, Carocci, 2005 (and successive editions).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral test: The oral test consists of an interview 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 lessons. In addition to the in-depth knowledge of the contents proposed, the 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.
Other tasks that may be required of students are the breakdown of a word into morphemes (with the description of the type of morphemes) and the division of a sentence into its immediate constituents.
IMPORTANT: the correct phonetic transcription and phonetic description of the assigned word is a necessary condition (even if not sufficient) to pass the exam. If the student is not able to transcribe the word correctly and/or describe its sounds correctly, their exam will be considered insufficient.
The grade is expressed in thirtieths.

International or Erasmus incoming students are kindly requested to contact the teacher of the course. Also students with disabilities should contact the teacher of the course, in order to discuss alternative examination methods, in agreement with the competent Office.
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