69649 - Linguistics for Interpreters

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Interpreting (cod. 8060)

Learning outcomes

Students - know the main aspects (terminology, concepts and methods) of discourse analysis and speech - will be able to process and use additional metadiscoursive knowledge and skills at a higher level.

Course contents

The course aims at enhancing comprehension, reformulation and expression skills in Italian, useful for future interpreters working in institutional contexts. Particular attention will be given to lexical development and, with an inductive approach, to the observation of the features of oral discourse and the strategies implemented by speakers: syntax, cohesion, hierarchy of information, modulations of meaning (intensity, prosodic variations, hedging), implicit and inferential mechanisms.

The first activities will focus on listening comprehension as a complex process behind a successful interpretation (tasks of active listening followed by synthesis, cloze and recall). This will be followed by free and guided speech production activities, reformulations of various types, and consecutive intralinguistic activities. There will also be a seminar on respeaking, a technique that will be further developed in the second year.

The exercises will be mostly taken from "Conference Interpreting: A student's Practice Book" (Gillies 2013), "Conference Interpreting Explained" (Jones 2015), "Italian for Interpreters. Oral comprehension of the Italian language (C1) (Formigoni 2018).

While keeping a certain variety of genres and types of speech selected, preference will be given to argumentative speech and speech on current topics: press conference, interview, university lecture, speech in Parliament, news item on the news or radio, public debate. In connection with the teaching of interpretation, students will be able to take an active part in the proposal of discourses in Italian.


The students will have to develop a personal reflection on the main features of an oral discourse in Italian, more precisely concerning two aspects considered relevant with reference to the kind of discourse proposed and to the style of the speaker (see description of practical activity). The speech analysis must be supported and argued by the study of 4 essays of the student's choice (written in Italian, English, French and Spanish). A number of bibliographical references are given here as an indication and are not intended to be exhaustive. The bibliography will be widened in the course of the lessons and one lesson will be dedicated to bibliographical research oriented to the search of references.

The selection of bibliographical references for the oral examination can be carried out with the advice and support of the teacher.

The material (slides and other) used in the lessons is an integral part of the study programme and is available on the "Virtual" platform.

Bazzanella, C. (2011), Linguistica e pragmatica del linguaggio, Roma-Bari: Editori Laterza.
Bazzanella, C. (1994), Le facce del parlare. Un approccio pragmatico all’italiano parlato, Firenze: La Nuova Italia.
Bersani Berselli, G., Mack, G., Zorzi, D., Linguistica e interpretazione, Bologna: CLUEB.
Casadei F., Fiorentino G., Samek-Lodovici V. (1995), L'italiano che parliamo, Rimini: Fara Editore.
De Santis et al., Le relazioni logico-sintattiche. Teoria Sincronia Diacronia, Roma: Aracne.
Díaz-Galaz S., Torres A. (2019), Comprehension in interpreting and translation: testing the phonological interference hypothesis, Perspectives, 27:4, 622-638.
Díaz-Galaz S. (2014), Individual factors of listening comprehension in a second language: Implications for interpreter training. Synergies Chili, 10, 31-40.
Gatta F. (2021), Prima di tradurre, Bologna: BUP Open Teaching.
Garzone, G., Viezzi, M. (2001), Comunicazione specialistica e interpretazione di conferenza, Trieste, Edizioni Università di Trieste.
Prandi, M. (2004), “Riformulazione e condivisione”, RILA 1/04 [pp. 35-48].
Hyland K. (2000), Hedges, Boosters and Lexical Invisibility: Noticing Modifiers in Academic Texts, Language Awareness, 9:4, 179-197.
Lombardi Vallauri, E., Masia, V. (2016), “Specificità della lingua persuasiva”: l’implicito discutibile”, in Ruffino, G., Castiglione, M., La lingua variabile nei testi letterari, artistici e funzionali contemporanei, Firenze: Franco Cesati Editore (pp. 637-652).
Lombardi Vallauri E. (2018), « L’implicite comme moyen de persuasion : une approche quantitative », http://journals.openedition.org/corela/6112 ; DOI : 10.4000/corela.6112
Mortara Garavelli, B., Lumbelli, L., Parafrasi. Dalla ricerca linguistica alla ricerca psicolinguistica, Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso.
Novelli, S. (2014), Si dice? Non si dice? Dipende. L’italiano giusto per ogni situazione, Ed. Laterza.
Orletti, F. (2014), La conversazione diseguale. Potere e interazione, Roma: Carocci Editore.
Russo M. C. (2021), Interpretare da e verso l’italiano: didattica e innovazione per la formazione dell’interprete, Bologna: BUP Open Teaching.
Voghera, M. (2017), Dal parlato alla grammatica. Costruzione e forma dei testi spontanei, Carocci editore.

Teaching methods

Face-to-face lectures, individual and group work.

The practical activities will mainly focus on reformulations, summaries, intralinguistic translations etc. of authentic, unplanned oral texts or oralised writings.

Students will be invited to carry out practical activities individually or in small groups and to share self- and hetero-evaluation initiatives.

Assessment methods

The oral exam consists in
(i) a discussion of the main concepts
(ii) a text analysis activity, followed by a synthesis and reformulation activity in Italian.

(a) Practical activity
(i) selection, listening, transcription and analysis of a short oral speech (max. 5 minutes). The transcription and supporting information must be handed in to the teacher at least 3 days before the examination;
(ii) summary at the oral;
iii) discourse analysis focusing on two relevant features of the student's choice (lexical, syntactic, pragmatic, prosodic, etc.);
iv) intralinguistic reformulation of a short passage indicated by the teacher.
b) Discussion:
discussion of the essays and material presented in class (slides, etc.).

a) practical activity on the text: max.15 points out of 30
b) Theoretical questions: max. 15 points out of 30.

Evaluation criteria
-completeness and correctness of the theoretical content acquired;
-capability of critical argumentation;
-appropriateness and relevance of terminology;
-expository clarity;
-ability to understand the text, synthesis and reformulation.

The teaching of 'Linguistics for Interpreters' is part of the integrated course of Methods, Technologies and Linguistics for Interpretation. The grade awarded will be the average obtained in the two modules.

Teaching tools

Slide and further material.
In addition to traditional classroom teaching, we will use an instance on the Platform Virtuale to share slides and course materials and to initiate discussion and comparison activities via forum.

Office hours

See the website of Cristiana Cervini


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.