General Linguistics (p) (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Chiara Melloni
Chiara Melloni
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IA dal Sep 21, 2020 al Oct 31, 2020.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to deepen the themes of the structure of language, with particular reference to the dimensions of phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax. In particular, the following objectives are identified: 1. knowledge of the history of general linguistics from Saussure to Chomsky; 2. knowledge of the structural levels of language analysis, from phonology to syntax, and contextualization of the main concepts in the context of development of the subject referred to in the previous point.


The course deals with the phenomenon of language acquisition by monolingual and bilingual children, with typical and atypical development.
Specific aspects of language acquisition will therefore be investigated with particular attention to:

- phonological phenomena: ability to discriminate between different languages and different phonemes;
- lexical phenomena: vocabulary learning skills, with particular reference to nouns and verbs;
- morphosyntactic phenomena: understanding and production of syntactic structures of different orders of complexity.

The developmental path will be investigated starting from the first steps in the perception of linguistic sounds by the newborn, up to the development of morphosyntactic skills of preschoolers.
Specific attention will be given to some key elements of atypical development, with a presentation of the linguistic profile of the subjects affected by Specific Language Impairment and Developmental Dyslexia. A final module (3 classes) will focus on the domain of bilingual acquisition and on the linguistic and cognitive profile of early bilingual children.

The lessons of this course will be delivered in "dual" mode, i.e. they will be held in presence (room 1.1., Wednesday and Friday, from 10.10 to 11.50, on the dates you will find on the academic calendar) and streamed via Zoom. The Tuesday lesson will instead be held in asynchronous mode (Panopto).

On the Moodle platform of this module, you will find the link through which you can attend class via Zoom: there will be no waiting room, but, please, wait for the meeting to be started. The lessons will be recorded (with the consent of those who participate remotely) and then deposited both on the Panopto platform and on the Moodle of this course.

To attend lessons in person, it is necessary to reserve a place in the classroom through the UNIVR Lezioni app. To follow via streaming it is necessary to subscribe to the Moodle platform of the course and have this course registered on your study plan in esse3.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Guasti, M.T. L'acquisizione del linguaggio. Un'introduzione Raffaello Cortina Editore 2007 978-88-6030-095-9

Assessment methods and criteria

*** ATTENTION: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, the assessment modality will be at distance: specifically, it will be a written exam via Zoom/Moodle. ***

Written test: the exam consists of a written test lasting 1:15 hours and will include open and multiple-choice questions on the theoretical part, as well as exercises in which you will be asked to represent the syntactic structure of some sentences, on the model discussed during the course.

The exam will verify the theoretical and practical skills acquired during the course, as well as your ability to represent the structure of sentences with tree diagrams. The questions will therefore cover all the topics of the program, both those treated in the classroom during the lessons and which will be made available on the e-learning platform, and those you prepared independently on the texts indicated.

Attending and non attending students will be administered the same exam. Attending students who participate in work groups and presentations can get bonus points (0-2) to be added to the result of the written test.

The tests will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- substantial correctness of the answers and exhaustiveness of the contents;
- expressive clarity, argumentative capacity and knowledge of the specific language of the subject;
- correctness and precision in carrying out the exercises.

The final evaluation will be expressed along a scale from 18 to 30.