Theoretical linguistics

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-LIN/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims at introducing students to General Linguistics, the discipline that studies human language in its extraordinary structural complexity. The course will propose a systematic dissertation of the different levels of the linguistic system (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax), with a particular emphasis on the history of linguistics and on the systematic and structured variability of languages in context. The variationist approach will be further analysed in the last part of the course, with focused attention on the use of language and its social and communicative variability.
By the end of the course, students will have at disposal the instruments of analysis of language on the different levels of the linguistic system, other than a knowledge of the evolution and the language uses in different contexts. In this respect, the course will strengthen those same basic competences vital to the education of professionals capable at operating in different communicative settings.
Expected learning outcomes
The topics addressed in this course aim at equipping the students with systematic knowledges on the structures and the social-historical uses of human language. These knowledges provide the necessary competences for an autonomous and informed analysis of the different aspects of human language.
By the end of the course, it is expected for the students to have acquired the following:
1) Knowledge of the theoretical and methodological foundations for the analysis of human language on the different levels of the linguistic system;
2) Application of the theoretical knowledges also to different and typological distant languages;
3) Discussion of actual case-studies of linguistic variation on different levels of the linguistic system by connecting those case-studies to the acquired theoretical notions.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Lessons will be held in a mixed (blended) modality with students both in classroom and online through Teams.
Lesson will be recorded and uploaded on Ariel, together with other teaching materials.
Apart from lectures, both in presence and online, students will find on the Ariel website other teaching materials, in particular exercises (provided with solutions) and tests for a self-evaluation of their learning. Students could carry out these activities asynchronically.
On the Ariel website, there will be also further readings suggested (not mandatory) and simulations of the final exam: students are expected to perform these simulations autonomously, by contacting the professor on the specific chat on Teams or by email.
A group chat on Teams will help students to confront among peers and to promote self-evaluation during the class.
Course syllabus
The course introduces the students to the scientific study of language and its structures, by giving the theoretical knowledges and the methodological instruments to analyse various levels of human languages (modules 1 and 2), with detailed study of linguistic variability according to contexts of use (module 3).


Module 1: Linguistics and the study of language
The module introduces the main theoretical notions and the discipline of Linguistics. There will be also a quick historical overview of the discipline and a detailed study on the classification of world's languages.
Main topics:
- Language and communication;
- The structure of the linguistic sign;
- The world's languages

Module 2: The pillars of linguistic analysis
This module will introduce the main levels of analysis of the various languages, by giving students the theoretical and methodological instruments to apply the notions learnt to different languages of the world.
Main topics:
- Phonetics and Phonology
- Morphology
- Syntax
- Lexicon & Semantics

Module 3: The variability of language
This module will address the topic of language use in different social contexts, and of linguistic variabilities in the different levels introduced in the previous module. The theoretical notions acquired in modules 1 and 2 will be applied to case-studies based on the most recent developments of the discipline, in particular in the fields of sociolinguistics and pragmatics.
Main topics:
- Pragmatics: language in use
- Ethnolinguistic
- Sociolinguistics
- Language contact and language loss

During the different modules various experts in linguistics will teach in guest classes , in order to offer the students an up-to-date overview of the developments of the discipline and its further perspectives.
The program of the guest classes and the precise structure of the different lessons for each modules will be uploaded on Ariel at the beginning of the course.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites are required for this course.
Teaching methods
The course consists in both lectures (in presence or in live streaming on Teams) and online materials for the asynchronous learning on the student part. These teaching materials on the Ariel platform consist of:
- More examples of application of the notions seen during the lectures, with notes provided by the teacher;
- More exercises than the ones seen during lectures, particularly useful for the preparation of the exam, with their solutions;
- Auto-evaluation tests with automatic correction to allow the student to check his/her learning during the course;
- Supporting material to help in the preparation of the exam (schemes, IPA charts, images).
Students will also find on Ariel:
- The slides projected during the lectures in .pdf;
- Recordings of the lectures;
- Suggested extra readings for different topics (not mandatory for the exam);
- Indications of some websites of particular interest for the study of Linguistics (not mandatory for the exam).
Active participation during the course is strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Attending students:
- Basile, G.; Casadei, F.; Lorenzetti, L.; Schirru, G.; Thornton, A.M. Linguistica generale, Roma: Carocci, 2010 or following editions [the whole book, but of chapter 6 only 6.1 and 6.2, and of chapter 8 only 8.1 and 8.4];
- Graffi, G. Breve storia della linguistica, Roma: Carocci, 2020 or following editions, only chapters 5, 6 e 7;
- Graffi, G. & Scalise, S., Le lingue e il linguaggio. Introduzione alla linguistica, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002 or following editions, only chapters 8 e 9.
- Cardona, G.R., Introduzione all'etnolinguistica, Torino: UTET, 2006 or following editions, only chapters 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.
- Slides, lesson notes, exercises and materials on Ariel.

Not attending students:
- Basile, G.; Casadei, F.; Lorenzetti, L.; Schirru, G.; Thornton, A.M. Linguistica generale, Roma: Carocci, 2010 or following editions [whole book];
- Banfi, E.; Grandi, N., Lingue d'Europa. Elementi di storia e di tipologia linguistica, Roma: Carocci, 2020 and following editions [only chapters 1, 4 e 5].
- Graffi, G. Breve storia della linguistica, Roma: Carocci, 2020 or following editions [whole book];
- Graffi, G. & Scalise, S., Le lingue e il linguaggio. Introduzione alla linguistica, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002 or following editions [chapters 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9];
- Cardona, G.R., Introduzione all'etnolinguistica, Torino: UTET, 2006 or following editions [whole book];
- (for exercises) Luraghi, S.; Thornton, A.M. Linguistica generale: esercitazioni e autoverifica, Roma: Carocci, 2004 or following editions.

Details of the teaching materials used in the different modules (only for attending students)
Module 1:
- Basile et al. "Linguistica generale", chapters 1 and 2;
- Graffi, G. "Breve storia della linguistica, Roma: Carocci, 2020 e segg., chapters 5, 6 and 7.
- Slides, lesson notes, exercises and materials on Ariel.
Module 2:
- Basile et al. "Linguistica generale", chapters 3, 4, 5, 6.1 e 6.2, 7, 8.1 e 8.4
- Slides, lesson notes, exercises and materials on Ariel.
Module 3:
- Basile et al. "Linguistica generale", chapters 9 and 10;
- Graffi, G. & Scalise, S., Le lingue e il linguaggio. Introduzione alla linguistica, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002 or following editions, chapters 8 and 9;
- Cardona, G.R., Introduzione all'etnolinguistica, Torino: UTET, 2006 or following editions, chapters 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.
- Slides, lesson notes, exercises and materials on Ariel.
Assessment methods and Criteria
FINAL WRITTEN TEST
The test will consist of 30 questions (10 for each module) equally divided among
- Multiple-choice answers or open short answers, aiming at assessing the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and of the technical lexicon of the discipline;
- Open questions focused on the critical discussion of concepts and linguistic case-studies among the ones analysed in class or in the teaching materials.
- Exercises for applying the theoretical knowledges learnt in the modules; the exercises will be similar to the ones seen during the course as off-line material uploaded on Ariel.
IMPORTANT: the correctness of at least the 50% of each of the proposed exercises (phonetic transcription, morphological analysis, syntactic tree) is a necessary condition (even if not sufficient) to pass the exam.

The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.

The final written test is mandatory for
1) Not attending students
2) Students that didn't pass 2 or more midterm tests (see below);
3) Students that didn't take midterm tests and/or did not accept their evaluation after the midterm tests.


MIDTERM TESTS
Only attending students will be allowed to take midterm tests.
Each test will be a written exam, 1 for each module, for a total of 3 midterm tests.
Each test will be constituted of 10 questions, with the same structure as the final exam (see above), focused on the topics addressed in each module.
Only students who pass all the midterm tests will allow the student to not take part in the final exam: in this case, the final evaluation will be calculated as the mean of the 3 midterm tests.

Students who didn't pass 2 or more midterm tests need to take the final written test fully.
Students who didn't pass 1 midterm test could repeat only that part of the test during the final test.
Obviously, students could decide to not accept the evaluation of midterm tests or to 1 (and 1 only) midterm test and to take the whole final test or a single part.
IMPORTANT: Students who will not accept the evaluation obtained in one or more midterm tests will be tested on the whole program during the regular exam session (see "Final written test").

The evaluation of each midterm test is expressed in thirtieths. The final evaluation, as obtained by the mean of the midterm tests, is also expressed in thirtieths.
Unita' didattica
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Tuesday 9:30 AM - 12:30 AM (on appointment till the beginning of a.y. 2021/22)
Professor's office (STANZA AP.025, AT_Piano Ammezzato Terra, via Festa del Perdono, 7)