General linguistics (i) (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Denis Delfitto
Denis Delfitto
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
First half of Semester 1 , Second half of Semester 1

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course amounts to an introduction to linguistics as a cognitive science, by presenting the different perspectives that contribute to the construction of a science of language: language as a cultural and historical object, as a system of communication and as a complex computational system characterized by the interaction of different cognitive modules. At the end of the course, the participant should be able to have a reasonably good view of the different traditions in the study of language and should have developed enough expertise for individual readings in linguistics. The main goal is thus that of introducing the students of Communication Science to some of the issues raised by the scientific study of language.


This course consists in an introduction to the main elements of sound analysis and sound representation (phonetics and phonology), rules of word formation (morphology), sentence derivation and sentence representation (syntax), sentence meaning in isolation and in context (semantics and discourse-theory), and language use (pragmatics). The enlightened properties of human language will be discussed in a broad cognitive perspective, by focusing especially on the relationship between language, perception and cognition

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Graffi, Giorgio; Scalise, Sergio Le lingue e il linguaggio. Introduzione alla linguistica Il Mulino, Bologna 2013 9788815241795

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam at the end of the course.
The exam will consist in a series of approximately 10 questions (almost all of them open questions) aimed at checking both the acquisition of elementary notions concerning language as a scientific object of study and the communication and learning skills of the students.