English linguistics LM (2009/2010)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Marta Degani
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 22, 2010 al May 31, 2010.

Lesson timetable

II semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.10  
Wednesday 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.10  
Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.10  

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at exploring the conceptual nature of human language by supplying a solid methodology and a sound theoretical background. Students will be provided with the essential tools to carry out individual research from the perspective of cognitive linguistics.


The course will introduce and critically (re)consider some of the main issues featuring the approach of cognitive linguistics to the study of language. The focus will be on the following topics:

- Conceptual structure: embodiment as a basic principle
- Categorization and prototype theory
- Semantic frames (idealized cognitive models)
- Conceptual metaphor and metonymy
- Conceptual blending

Note: the course will be held in English.

Preliminary readings (to select)
Croft, William and Alan Cruse. 2004. Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.
Dirven, René and Marjolijn Verspoor. 2004. Cognitive Explorations of Language and Linguistics. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Langacker, Ronald W. 2008. Cognitive Grammar. A Basic Introduction. Oxford: OUP.
Ungerer, Friedrich and Hans-Jörg Schmid. 2006. An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics. 2nd ed. Harlow: Longman.

Essential readings
Coulson, Seana, Todd Oakley. 2003. Metonymy and conceptual blending. In Metonymy and Pragmatic Inferencing. Panther, Klaus-Uwe, Linda L. Thornburg (eds.). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins. 51-79.
Dirven, René, Ralf Pörings (eds.). 2003. Metaphor and Metonymy in Comparison and Contrast. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.
Lakoff, George. 1990. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. What Categories Reveal about the Mind. Chicago. Chicago U.P.
Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. 2003. Metaphors We Live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fauconnier, Gilles, Mark Turner. 2002. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.
Fillmore, Charles J. 1982. Frame semantics. In Linguistics in the morning calm. The Linguistic Society of Korea (ed.). Seoul: Hanshin. 111-37.
Fillmore, Charles J. 1985. Frames and the semantics of understanding. Quaderni di semantica 6, 222-54.
Johnson, Mark. 1990. The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Rosch, Eleanor. 1978. Principles of Categorization. In Cognition and Categorization. Rosch, Eleanor, Barbara B. Lloyd (eds.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 27-48.

More specific details on the bibliography will be given at the beginning of the course.

Students not taking part in individual sessions are recommended to inform the teacher in due time.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam and written assignment.

Not mandatory, high proficiency in English recommended.