The goal of this course is to have the student acquainted with some basic notions concerning several aspects of human language.
Prerequisites: None, however preparatory classes (12 hours) will be held in the last two weeks of September.
Syllabus: Introduction to general and historical linguistics. 1) General linguistics: (prof. Melloni): the essential features of human language; basic notions of phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. 2) Historical linguistics (prof. Cotticelli): notions of linguistic change, language relationship and language family, analogy, Indo-European languages and the language families of the world; models of language classification; models for the interpretation of linguistic change (Neogrammarian, geolinguistic, sociolinguistic), speech contact.
Teaching methods: Traditional lectures and exercise classes
Oral examination, preceded by a written test, consisting of a short phonetic dictation, a multiple choice test and open-ended questions. The positive overcoming of the first part of the written exam gives admission to the oral exam.
Important notice: to pass the exam, it is necessary to show the knowledge of basic grammatical notions (e.g., to be able to recognize the ‘subject’, the ‘predicate’, the ‘object’, etc., of a clause, to distinguish among the several kinds of subordinate clauses, to correctly classify the different parts of speech, etc.). Such notions are available within any good school grammar. Furthermore, some ad hoc exercises will be held during classes, and essential bibliographical references will be suggested to non-attending students.