Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
L-LIN/01 - HISTORICAL AND GENERAL LINGUISTICS
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 26, 2022 al Dec 23, 2022.
At the end of the course the student will know the basic theoretical knowledge of linguistics, the different levels of linguistic analysis (phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics) and the technical terminology. Furthermore, he will be able to describe and recognise the linguistic phenomena occurring in the different levels of analysis, especially from a synchronic point of view.
Prerequisites and basic notions
No specific prerequisites are required.
The course aims at exploring some fundamental concepts of theoretical linguistics, such as, for example, the notion of language on the one hand as a general human faculty and, on the other hand, as a specific socio-historical system in its multiple aspects (functions, levels, etc.).
The goal is to provide the basic theoretical knowledge and the tools for analysing the different linguistic levels, especially phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Particular attention will be given to the metalinguistic dimension: the aim is to acquire the technical terminology that can be used also in the study of other linguistic disciplines. Emphasis will be on the synchronic perspective, understood as the study of the organization of a language state, that is, its functioning as a system. Finally, a key objective will be the ability to carry out exercises aimed at consolidating (in itinere) and checking (during the final exam) the acquired knowledge.
The course will cover the following topics:
1. Preliminary notions: Definition of linguistics and natural languages. Semiotic systems, communication.
2. Phonetics and Phonology: Vocal apparatus and classification of sounds. Concept of phoneme. Rules of Trubeckoj. Supra-segmental features. Introduction to phonetic change and the concept of phonetic law.
3. Morphology: The notion of morpheme. Word classes. Derivation, Composition, Inflexion. Allomorphy and suppletion. Other relevant morphological processes.
4. Syntax: Valency. Phrase and criteria for phrase identification. Classification of clauses (principal and subordinate). The concept of subject.
5. Semantic and pragmatics: introduction to the semantic change and to the linguistic acts.
6. Vocabulary and Lexicology: Vocabulary and dictionary, interference phenomena.
7. Classification of languages (genealogical, typological, etc.), areal phenomena. Languages, dialects, language varieties.
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1. Lectures dedicated to the topics of the course.
2. Exercises during class with the support of the teacher, and on the online e-Learning platform to apply the acquired skills.
3. Non-attending students must study the handbooks and the materials available on the e-Learning platform. The teacher can provide support for individual study.
All students are encouraged to contact the teacher during office hours as indicated on the teacher’s web page and through announcements.
Learning assessment procedures
For all students, both attending and non-attending, the final exam is divided into two parts, consisting in a written test and an oral exam:
1. The written test consists of a number of questions that may be both closed-ended and open-ended. Some questions will address the concepts learned during the course and the identification and description of the linguistic phenomena (phonetic and phonological, morphological, syntactical, semantical, and interference), others will require the solution of exercises through the application of the rules studied.
2. The oral exam consists in a short final interview about all topics of the course.
The written exam precedes the oral exam. The latter directly follows the correction of the written test on the same day or in subsequent days, depending on the number of participants.
A positive result of the written test is required to access the oral exam. A positive written test is not sufficient to pass the exam.
During the exam, the knowledge of the basic theoretical concepts of linguistics will be evaluated, as well as that of the different levels of linguistic analysis (phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics) and the technical terminology. Furthermore, the ability to describe and recognise the linguistic phenomena occurring in the different levels of analysis, especially from a synchronic point of view, will be verified.
The assessment will also take into account the propriety of language.
Criteria for the composition of the final grade
The evaluation, which takes into account the results of both the written and oral exam, is expressed in thirtieths based on the knowledge, effectiveness, pertinence, and readiness of answers, as well as propriety of language.