Linguistic learning theories (2014/2015)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Chiara Melloni
Chiara Melloni
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semestrino IIA, Semestrino IIB

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed to get the students acquainted with some basic topics in first language acquisition and second language learning. The students will be introduced to the phenomenon of early bilingualism, compared with L2 learning in adult age, and to the acquisition of language by linguistically impaired children (in particular, Specific Language Impairment and Developmental Dyslexia).
The course will be held in ENGLISH.


Prior course/prerequisite: none.

This course in organized in two parts, dealing with different topics and having a different practical organization (see the COURSE NEWS). The first part introduces the phenomenon of first language acquisition by monolingual children. The course will cover specific aspects of language acquisition (phonology, morpho-syntax, lexicon) in normal and linguistically impaired children, from the first steps of newborns to six/seven years of age.
The second part focuses on early bilingualism and on the process of learning a second language in adult age. These lectures (20 c.h.) will be held by a guest teacher, Professor Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh, (, who is the founder and director of the information centre BILINGUALISM MATTERS.

Main references:

Guasti, Maria Teresa (2002/2004). Language Acquisition, The Growth of Grammar. Cambridge (MA), The Mit Press. (chapters 1-6 and 11)

Gass, S. & Selinker, L. (2008). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. New York: Taylor and Francis. (chapters 1-8).

Further readings will be indicated to the students during the course.
Non-attending students can find a detailed program on the e-learning page linked to this course.

Assessment methods and criteria

written and oral examination