95778 - Dialectology (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics (cod. 9220)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the students will know how the notions of "language" and "dialect" are used according to different linguistic traditions and will be able to critically discuss them. They will know the basic diatopic/areal classifications of the languages and dialects spoken in Italy, in Europe, and in the world. They will learn methods of dialectological and sociolinguistic analysis that allow to recognize non-standard varieties spoken in Italy and in the world. They will also be able to comment upon the features exhibited by these varieties from a structural and typological point of view.

Course contents

The course addressed the following topics:

- the notions of 'language', 'dialect' and 'jargon' (French 'argot', English 'cant') in the Italian linguistic tradition, and in the European and American linguistic traditions, with a critical discussion of theoretical and sociolinguistic approaches;

- the classification of European languages and dialects, especially with reference to the varieties spoken in Italy, explaining the features and phenomena characterizing the different linguistic varieties from a phonetic and morphosyntactic point of view;

- the description and in-depth examination of some features of the varieties at issue, highlighting typological differences and similarities with the neighboring varieties, especially in relation to the Romance Sprachraum.



The course has been designed for students with a solid basic background in linguistics (i.e. with competences like those that are developed in General Linguistics classes, or in classes on the History of various languages). The students who believe not to have this background knowledge are advised to refer to a basic handbook of linguistics, such as e.g. Berruto, G. / Cerruti, M. (2017), La linguistica. Un corso introduttivo , Torino, UTET.


For the general part, attending and not attending students will prepare:

- Grassi C., A.A. Sobrero & T. Telmon. 1997. Fondamenti di dialettologia italiana. Roma-Bari: Laterza;

- Chambers J.K. & P. Trudgill. 1998. Dialectology. Seconda edizione. Cambridge: CUP, pp. 3-56 (i.e. chapters 1 Dialect and language, 2 Dialect geography, 3 Dialectology and linguistics, and 4 Urban dialectology);

-Lessons' notes.

Attending students will also study other articles (ca 5) that will be presented during the lectures in which typological differences and similarities between Romance varieties are deepened. These articles will be made available in pdf format on the University portal.


Non-attending students will also prepare:

Cerruti M. & R. Regis. 2021. Italiano e dialetto. Roma: Carocci (for attending students this book is optional).


G. Rohlfs' Grammatica storica della lingua italiana e dei suoi dialetti, 3 voll. n. ed. it. Bologna: il Mulino 2021 (not to be studied systematically, but to be able to consult if necessary) might be useful for further insights on the topic of the course.

For any difficulties in finding the material, contact the teacher.

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

The final exam is an oral colloquium dealing with the course contents; its aim it to evaluate the critical skills and methodological knowledge gained by the student.

Reaching a clear view of all the course topics as well as using a correct language terminology will be valued with top marks. The capacity of building autonomous paths to connect different topics of the course will be appreciated.
Mnemonic knowledge of the course topics or not completely appropriate terminology will lead to a ‘pass’.
Unknown topics or inappropriate terminology use will be valued, depending on the seriousness of the omissions, with minimal or insufficient rankings.

All the students will be asked to start from a subject freely chosen by them.

All the students must register for the exam with Almaesami. The exam can be arranged in different rounds depending on the number of subscribers.

Teaching tools

In the lectures I will make use of PowerPoint presentations that will be made available to the students on the Virtuale website.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuele Miola