A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
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.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding

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

- present the main orientations in the history of linguistic thought and linguistic science in Western cultures
- recognize the properties of historical-natural languages with particular reference to the functional dimension and the historical dimension
- recognize and analyze specific synchronic and diachronic facts relating to ancient and modern languages
- interpret the relationship that unites the general reflection on language and the empirical investigation of individual linguistic facts
- exemplify the specific technical terminology of the discipline with reference to the areas and sectors examined
- identify a series of essential bibliographic tools

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, students will be able to:

- distinguish the phonetic data from the graphic one, particularly in the case of the analysis of ancient linguistic forms
- distinguish the observation and description of empirical data from their interpretation
- apply rules and categories elaborated by general linguistic reflection
- use the appropriate metalinguistic terminology in the description of phenomena
- apply the historical-comparative method in the comparison of forms of ancient Indo-European languages and in the etymological investigation
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
During the emergency teaching phase, the program is maintained with the following changes necessary for a good online use of the course (originally designed for face-to-face teaching):
The lessons will take place on Microsoft Teams (or Zoom) mostly in synchronous mode, at established times, and will be recorded and available on the platform itself in asynchronous mode. Information on how to access Microsoft Teams lessons and other instructions will be uploaded to the course's ARIEL site. In the event that, taking into account the evolution of the epidemic and in compliance with the relevant regulations, it should be possible to carry out activities in the classroom, students will be promptly informed via ARIEL. Lessons may also include pre-recorded materials.
Program and reference material:
The course program is unchanged. The content of the individual lessons could be modified according to the teaching methods described above.
Reference materials are unchanged.
Learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria:
The methods for verifying learning and the assessment criteria will not be subject to change, it being understood that the oral exam will take place in person or through Microsoft Teams (or Zoom) according to the directives in force at the time of the exam.
Course syllabus
The course is entitled "Introduction to Language sciences" and consists of the following three teaching units, which will be approached in sequence:
Teaching unit A: Institutions of theoretical linguistics: elements of phonetics, phonology and morphology.
Teaching unit B: Institutions of theoretical linguistics: elements of syntax, typology, semantics and pragmatics.
Teaching unit C: The historical-comparative method and the Indo-European linguistic family. Reading of a text with linguistic analysis (from Wulfila's Bible).
The course is adressed to students of the Degree course in Lingue e letterature straniere whose surnames begin with the letters E-O, it takes place in the first semester and consists of three indivisible teaching units. The course involves the compulsory acquisition of 9 credits, so students will comply with the complete program. Students who intend to acquire only 6 credits will agree with the teacher which units they have to prepare.
Unit A will deal with the organs of phonation, phones production and phonetic representations (IPA and other phonetic transcription systems); the definition and organization of phonemes; the definition of linguistic significant units (morphemes) and the formation of words.
Unit B will deal with the definition of phrases and the principles and processes that govern the structure of the sentence; the relationship between syntax and semantic-pragmatic aspects; the typological classification of languages based on the formation of words and the order of the major constituents of the sentence.
Unit C will deal with the beginnings of historical-comparative linguistics and the clues that led to establishing relations between related languages and the "discovery" of language families. Reading of a text with linguistic analysis will constitute an example of the application of the theory.
The course program is valid until February 2023.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is held entirely in Italian. The exam materials and bibliography presuppose grammatical skills that each student possesses in relation to the functioning of their own language, of other languages they have learned, and in the basic linguistic analysis skills acquired in lower study courses.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lessons.
Teaching Resources
The course has a site on the online platform for teaching, to which reference is made for teaching materials provided by the teacher.
Below are the manuals and other readings for the various teaching units.
Teaching Unit A:
1) G. Graffi-S. Scalise, Le lingue e il linguaggio, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2nd ed. (2003) o 3rd ed. (2013), chapters 1-6.
2)P. Maturi, I suoni delle lingue, i suoni dell'italiano. Nuova introduzione alla fonetica (3a ed.), Bologna, il Mulino, 2014.
3) A. Nocentini, L'Europa linguistica: profilo storico e tipologico, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2002 (or later editions).
4) teaching materials, downloadable from the teaching portal "Ariel".
Teaching Unit B:
1) G. Graffi-S. Scalise, Le lingue e il linguaggio, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2nd ed. (2003) or 3rd ed. (2013), chapters 7-10.
2) Booklet of the course.
3)C. Cecchetto, Introduzione alla Sintassi. La Teoria dei Principi e dei Parametri, Milano, LED, 2002.
4) teaching materials, downloadable from the teaching portal "Ariel".

Teaching Unit C:
1) S. Luraghi, Introduzione alla linguistica storica, Roma, Carocci, 2006 (or later editions).
2) G. Graffi, Breve storia della linguistica, Roma, Carocci, 2019.
3) teaching materials, downloadable from the teaching portal "Ariel".
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher and interactions between the teacher and the student. The interview has a variable duration depending on the teaching units, and takes place in Italian. The interview aims to verify knowledge of the topics covered during the course, the ability to identify and analyze the relevant phenomena and the precision in the use of specific terminology. The final mark is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to reject it (in this case it will be recorded as "ritirato"). International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to promptly contact the teacher. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and / or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent Office.
Unita' didattica
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)