Germanic philology lm (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Maria Adele Cipolla, Anna Cappellotto
Maria Adele Cipolla
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IA, CuCi IB

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course covers methods and contents of historical linguistics, paleography and codicology, textual criticism and digital philology, cultural history (all referred to the Germanic languages and their traditions) and aims at transmitting advanced knowledges of the principal aspects of Germanic Philology. Expected results: - Advanced knowledge on methodologies and cultural contents which are necessary to analyse and interpret Germanic linguistic and literary traditions. - Delve into the main multidisciplinary aspects of Germanic Philology and reinforce the mastery of a correct and accurate specialistic terminology. - Delve into the main specialistic fields of Germanic Philology (historical linguistics, textual criticism and digital philology, paleography and codicology and cultural history), mainly focussing on historical linguistics, in compliance with the learning outcomes of the Master Degree in Linguistics.


Manuscript Studies and Germanic Languages

1. Introduction to Manuscript Culture (Codicology, Paleography, History of the Book) in late-antique, medieval and early-modern Germanic-speaking areas
2. Introduction to selected case-studies within the Germanic Language family and to their Documentation (Runic Inscriptions, Biblical Gothic, Old/Middle High German manuscript culture, Old/Middle English manuscript culture, Old Norse manuscript culture)
3. Manuscript Data vs Linguistics

The course will be ideally divided into three main sections, according to the schedule here below:

- Part 1 will consist in a reassessment of the interdisciplinary aspects of Germanic Philology, that is historical linguistics, focusing on the Germanic languages and on a contrastive analysis of their features (phonology, morphology, and lexis), textual criticism and digital scholarly editing, the growth of literacy in the Germanic speaking countries.

Part 2 will consist in a reassessment of the philological issues posited by the runic corpus, and by the manuscript corpus of the so-called Biblical Gothic, Old/Middle High German, Old/Middle English, and Old Norse, on the instance of selected manuscript items from the above-named traditions. Students will be trained in reading and interpreting handwritten documents through their digital facsimiles

Part 3 will consist in a reassessment of the relationships between scribal attitudes in the handwritten witnesses and linguistic and lexical inferences, by showing the interplay between the history of Germanic languages and the interpretation of manuscripts by editors. Students will be trained in comparing the handwritten documents and their interpretation by historical linguists and lexicologists.

Further readings will be indicated during the course.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Winfred P. Lehmann, Jonathan Slocum, eds. A Grammar of Proto-Germanic Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. 2005
David Greetham "A history of textual scholarship", in The Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, ed. by N. Fraistat and J. Flanders Cambridge University Press 2013
Robinson, Orrin W. Old English and its closest relatives: a survey of the earliest Germanic languages. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press 1992
E. König e J. van der Auwera (eds.) The Germanic Languages Routledge 1994

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exams during the official exam sessions scheduled and published by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Assessment will include:
ATTENDEES--> ongoing preliminary test (intermediate written exam on the first part of the course) + oral exam on the other part of the programme.
NON-ATTENDEES--> oral exam on the whole programme.

Objective of assessment
In the middle of the course (after the 5th week), attendee students can take a written test (which will be corrected and discussed within the class with self-evaluation), aimed at evaluating students' knowledge on the introductory parts of the programme (it will deal with the first 5 weeks of classes) and the corresponding bibliography.
The intermediate written exam will be structured according to groups of questions related to the main themes of the first part of course; the preparation of the exam will be supported by learning materials which will be prepared ad hoc. The evaluation is expressed in 30/30. The written exam will be subject to an evaluation which the student will integrate with the oral exam.
For attendees the oral exam will deal with the development of issues related to the written test and will assess:
- depth and extent of acquired knowledge
- accuracy of acquired vocabulary
- ability to link aspects concerning both parts of the programme
To foster the correct understanding of the contents and of the modalities of the ongoing written test during the classes the test of last years will be discussed
The final evaluation is expressed in 30/30.
The oral exam will be on the entire programme. The final evaluation is expressed in 30/30.

Erasmus students are kindly requested to contact the instructor at the beginning of the course to arrange both learning and assessment modalities.