Italian Linguistics

Module code: IT2011
Module co-ordinator: Dr Marina Spunta 

Module Aims

In this module we will study the elements of Italian linguistics and consider the varieties of the Italian language. We will apply linguistic theory to analyze different aspects of the language and a variety of texts in Italian.

Module Outcomes

At the end of this module, typical students should be able to demonstrate an awareness of the key elements of linguistics and the ability to apply them to the study of the Italian language. They will be required to demonstrate an understanding of the developments of the Italian language both diachronically and synchronically, and of the different varieties of Italian. They will also develop the necessary analytical skills to analyze different aspects of the language and a variety of texts in Italian and to place them in their linguistic context. They will work individually and in groups.


Classes will alternate between lectures and student-led seminars. Students will work weekly on a set of questions to prepare for each class, and give group presentations. They will be encouraged to carry out independent research on aspects of the Italian language.

  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 130 hours of independent study


  • Essay, 2,500 words (50%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)

Key Texts (recommended for purchase)

Clivio, G. P. and Danesi, M., The sounds, forms, and uses of Italian (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000)
Graffi, G., Scalise, S., Le lingue e il linguaggio. Introduzione alla linguistica (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2003)
Sobrero, A. A. and Miglietta, A., Introduzione alla linguistica italiana (Rome: Laterza, 2006)

Also recomended

Coveri, L., Benucci, A., Diadori, P., Le varietà dell’italiano (Rome: Bonacci 1998)
Fromkin, V., and Rodman, R., An introduction to language (Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace, 1993)
Additional resources will be given on blackboard and in class.