Language and Communication (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Denis Delfitto
Denis Delfitto
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1A, Sem 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course aims at providing a first introduction to linguistics as a cognitive science, by presenting and exploring the various converging perspectives that conspire to constitute a science of language: language as an historical and cultural entity, as a communication system and as a computational system involving the interaction of a series of distinct cognitive modules.
At the end of the course, the participant should be able to find her way in the rich tradition of studies on natural language, and capable of reading in autonomy some of the canonical literature. In a nutshell, the objective is introducing the students of the course of study in Communication Sciences to the scientific discourse around human language.


This course provides an introduction to the study of natural language, conceived of as a cognitive system endowed with specific features and specifically used for communication purposes as well as an instrument for the expression of thought.
More particularly, the course involves a presentation of the core concepts for an analysis of the physical properties and of the mental representations associated with linguistic sounds (phonetics and phonology), of the rules of word-formation and sentence structure (morphosyntax), of sentence meaning in isolation and in context (semantics and pragmatics).
Some of the core properties of human language will be discussed from a broad cognitive and semiotic perspective, by devoting a specific attention to the relationship between human language and the other cognitive systems as well as to the differences between natural language and the other biological and artificial communication systems.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Benedetta Baldi e Leonardo M. Savoia Linguaggio e comunicazione. Introduzione alla linguistica Zanichelli 2017

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam at the end of the course.
The exam will consist in about ten questions (almost all of them open questions), which are aimed at checking the knowledge and competences acquired by the participants, as well as their skills of synthesis and of independent judgment in the application of some of these competences.

ATTENTION PLEASE! Given the situation stemming from the present Coronavirus emergency, the exam modality indicated above will be replaced, limited to the next summer session, by an ORAL EXAM, to be held via computer-supported electronic means, according to the indications of the course responsible (Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc.).