Levels of linguistic analysis (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Alfredo Rizza, Francesca Cotugno
Alfredo Rizza
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IA dal Sep 21, 2020 al Oct 31, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

- Learn methods and theories of Linguistics according to the different levels of analysis (phonology, morphology, syntax, information structure). - Recognize and describe in an appropriate and uniform way the main structural phenomena occurring in languages at different levels of analysis. - Acquire experience to develop a critical attitude towards methods and theoretical frameworks for the study of language. - Present the results of the work with the appropriate terminology and according to recognized standards. - Increase the ability to learn theories and technical terminology in further studies.


Basic concepts and methods for linguistic description in the different levels of analysis
1) Basic method in the description of linguistic phenomena: introduction to the Leipzig Glossing Rules
2) The levels of analysis
- Phonology: phonology as a discipline and as a system of "knowledge". Phonetic and phonemic description (outline).
- Morphology: 'word' vs. 'morpheme' and morphological typology; elements of morphophonology; parts of speech.
- Syntax: grammatical categories, lexical and syntactical properties of the verb; verbal valence and sentence, types of sentence, the complex sentence; the inflectional categories of the sentence (outline)
3) Variability and change (introductory outline)
An introduction to the study of the main phenomena of change in diachrony, sociolinguistic variation, linguistic contact and interference phenomena:
- phonetic and phonological change
- changes in the morphological and syntactic system (analogy, grammaticalization)
- variance and social factors
- interference
During the course of teaching, individual and group exercises and moments of exchange of experiences and studies will be proposed.

NB: considering the current situation of epidemic risk, the teaching will be carried out with lessons in the classroom (if safety conditions permit), in any case integrated with the moodle platform, and streaming and video-conferencing technologies.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Yule, G. The Study of Language. (Edizione 7) Cambridge University Press. 2020 9781108582889 doi:10.1017/9781108582889. Required chapters: 1–8; 17–20.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students' preparation will be tested, exploiting the potential of the Moodle platform, by integrating 'in itinere' written tests (during the teaching session) and a final interview on the entire teaching programme (on the dates of the exams).
Teachers will assess the level of knowledge of the fundamental methods and theories of linguistic analysis and the ability to apply it, i.e. to recognize and describe the structural phenomena of languages in an appropriate and uniform manner, consistent with the topics covered during the course.
Critical thinking, property of language (correct use of technical terms, readiness and pertinence of responses) will also be taken into account for the assessment.
Knowledge will be tested with questions on specific topics and concepts. Competence in applying knowledge (i.e. recognising and describing structural language phenomena in an appropriate and uniform way) will be tested with short exercises containing glossed examples from different languages.

A basic handbook, in English, is required for the recovery or reappraisal of basic knowledge.
The chapters to study are:

Specific bibliography.
Further, more specific required papers will be indicated during class.

We recommend the formation of study groups in which Italian and international students can exchange information taken from different sources.

The exam will be in English.
'In itinere' tests and/or papers will be mainly evaluated with a "sufficiently competent / not yet competent" binary parameter.Negative tests and papers may be repeated adn improved. The final interview will result in an evaluation in thirtieth.