Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


ITALIAN LINGUISTICS
LINGUISTICA ITALIANA

Trends in the contemporary Italian language
Linee di tendenza dell'italiano contemporaneo

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Anna Maria Mancini First semester: Tuesday, h. 9 -11 am, Friday, h. 10-11 am. Palazzo Veterani, Via Veterani, 36.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Humanities, Cultural Heritage Studies and Philosophy (L-10)
Curriculum: FILOLOGICO-LETTERARIO MODERNO
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims at providing students with appropriate skills on recent developments and trends at different linguistic analysis levels, through the description of contemporary Italian and its varieties.

More specifically, the scope of the course is to:

1. understand the Italian lexicon by: a) analysing the different formation processes of words, including prevailing trends; b) reflecting on the weight and importance of lexical borrowings, above all from a diachronic perspective and with respect to the differences between past and present; c) examining the principal types of semantic relationships between words, in the context of semantic lexicology;

2. understand the values and functions of certain tenses and moods in the different contexts in which they are used, comparing spoken use and grammatical norms;

3. understand, in the context of the reflection on simple and complex sentences: a) the concept of verbal valency, with the relevant classification of verbs; b) the importance and weight of the information structure, describing the different types of marked constructions in their syntactic and informative properties; c) the simplification phenomena that, at different levels, characterise the spoken language; d) trends that more typically mark some typologies of contemporary written Italian, such as nominalization and fragmented syntax;

4. understand the extent of the linguistic variation by: a) reflecting on the main factors of the variation itself, and interrelation; b) presenting the peculiarities of colloquial and/or popular Italian, and the reasons for the linguistic economy that determine the same; c) illustrating the concepts of standard and neostandard Italian, focusing on current status with particular reference to rising morphological and syntactic features; d) reflecting on the concept of linguistic norms, and its relationship with the evolution of language.

Sound basic training in Italian linguistics, and a good knowledge of the peculiarities of the different types of texts constitute the key didactic and qualifying elements for this university Course class, and the essential requirements for all those who aim at a future professional access to the school system. 

Program

The course will address the following topics, in the order mentioned below.
1.  Lexicon
Components of Italian lexicon; lexical morphology: formation processes of words; derivational suffixes and their peculiarities; analysis of some derivational suffixes values, functions and productivity aimed at illustrating their multi-functionality, semantic versatility and unpredictability; prefixes and parasynthetic verbs; composition: analysis of different types of nouns, adjectives and compound verbs; two-noun sequences and polyrhematic collocations in contemporary Italian; alteration; different categories of neologisms; linguistic borrowings; reduction phenomena and new trends in contemporary vocabulary; semantic lexicology: polysemy, homonymy, synonymy, antonymy, hyperonyms- hyponyms; terms - words: their differences at various levels.
2.  The verbal system: analysis of values and functions of some tenses and moods, between norms and spoken use
The verb properties; indicative present and imperfect, future, present perfect and past absolute in their different contexts of use; present participle and past participle: verb, adjective and noun value; gerund: tenses and syntactic polyfunctionality; subjunctive-indicative in subordinate clauses, between norms and spoken use; completive and incompletive verb aspect; passive voice in oral and written production; distribution of verbal circumlocutions.
3.  Simple and complex sentences 
Concept of verb valency, actants and expansions; word order in simple and complex sentences: relationship with the information structure; concept of given-new and topic-comment; marked constructions: left or right dislocations, topicalisation, anacoluthon, cleft sentences, pseudo-cleft sentences and presentative sentences in their syntactic and informative properties; relative clauses between norms and spoken use; che as a general relativisator; polyvalent che; coordination, subordination, juxtaposition, fragmented syntax; nominalisation: the most interesting types of Italian writing and repercussions on syntactic organization.
4.  Linguistic variation 
The Italian linguistic repertoire; contemporary Italian varieties; analysis of the most important linguistic variation factors: diachronic, diatopic, diastratic, diaphasic, diamesic variation axis and its main features; the two main types within the diaphasic variation: registers and sectoral languages; colloquial Italian in its general features, and the reasons of the linguistic economy that determine the phenomena of simplification and/or over-extension; the language of the cultured tradition and the new Italian; concepts of standard, neo-standard, sub-standard Italian; evolution of the language and norm: description of current status with particular reference to rising morphological and syntactic features; contemporary written Italian in different types of texts: linguistic analysis of journalistic, bureaucratic, regulatory prose texts to understand peculiar aspects of the different fields.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding 

At the end of the course, the student shall have a basic theoretical knowledge of Italian linguistics, and shall be proficient in the different subjects studied in the four sections of the program.

Applying knowledge and understanding 

At the end of the course the student shall have the skills to: a) describe Italian at different levels of analysis (morphology, syntax, lexicon, study of meanings), illustrating and applying the relevant notions; b) recognize the different parameters of linguistic variation, in their interrelation; c) recognise and analyse peculiar morphological and syntactic aspects of colloquial and/or popular spoken Italian, identifying the reasons for the linguistic economy that determine the same; d) recognise and analyse peculiar morphological and syntactic aspects of written Italian in specific types of texts.

Making judgements 

At the end of the course the student shall have sufficient linguistic awareness to identify and analyse the specific linguistic features of sectoral registers and languages, and evaluate linguistic choices with respect to contexts and for informative purposes.

Communication skills 

At the end of the course the student shall have the ability to express the contents of the course in an appropriate manner, using the relevant terminology correctly; the student should know how to communicate what he or she has learnt in a clear and unambiguous manner to experts and non-experts, using examples to support the theoretical description of the linguistic facts analysed.

Learning skills 

At the end of the course, given the learning methods developed, the student should have the ability to autonomously analyse the knowledge acquired, and the ability to observe the language and critically evaluate and identify the linguistic features that characterize a text, at different levels.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Lectures 

Attendance

It is assumed that the student has basic Italian grammar knowledge. For all those who feel the need to acquire or increase Italian grammar notions, the following texts are recommended: G. Patota, Grammatica di riferimento dell'italiano contemporaneo, Garzanti, Novara, 2006; or P. Trifone - M. Palermo, Grammatica italiana di base, Zanichelli, Bologna, Third edition 2014; or  M. Dardano – P. Trifone, Grammatica italiana modulare, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2002.
Please note that, during the exam, some Italian grammar notions that are not directly taught as part of the programme might be assessed, since these are considered to have been acquired in secondary and high school.

Course books

1) P. D'Achille, L'italiano contemporaneo, il MulinoBologna, Third edition 2010. The entire text must be studied.
2) L. Serianni, Italiani scritti, il Mulino, Bologna, Third edition 2012. The entire text must be studied.

Assessment

Learning assessment includes a written test consisting of a questionnaire with multiple choice and open questions. Evaluation criteria are: level of formal correctness; relevance and effectiveness of the answers in relation to the contents of the program. Final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Attendance

It is assumed that the student has basic Italian grammar knowledge. For all those who feel the need to acquire or increase Italian grammar notions, the following texts are recommended: G. Patota, Grammatica di riferimento dell'italiano contemporaneo, Garzanti, Novara, 2006; or P. Trifone - M. Palermo, Grammatica italiana di base, Zanichelli, Bologna, Third edition 2014; or  M. Dardano – P. Trifone, Grammatica italiana modulare, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2002.
Please note that, during the exam, some Italian grammar notions that are not directly taught as part of the programme might be assessed, since these are considered to have been acquired in secondary and high school.

Course books

1) P. D'Achille, L'italiano contemporaneo, il MulinoBologna, Third edition 2010. The entire text must be studied.
2) L. Serianni, Italiani scritti, il Mulino, Bologna, Third edition 2012. The entire text must be studied.
3) P. Trifone (editor), Lingua e identità. Una storia sociale dell'italiano, Carocci, Roma, 2009. Only the following chapters must be studied: 1, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Assessment

Learning assessment includes a written test consisting of a questionnaire with multiple choice and open questions. Evaluation criteria are: level of formal correctness; relevance and effectiveness of the answers in relation to the contents of the program. Final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.

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