82013 - Text Linguistics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Specialized translation (cod. 9174)

Learning outcomes

The student knows the basic features (terms, concepts) of linguistic approaches, relevant to the analysis of translation processes. s/he is able to carry out in depth analyses of written texts in Italian and is able to acquire higher-level metalinguistic knowledge and competences independently, and to apply them to other texts

Course contents

Part A (‘theoretical’). To obtain a translation oriented to the target audience we also need an in-depth analysis of the source-text. In this perspective we will adopt a framework (cf. Tudor 1987) organized into four levels: the general text profile (i.e., its type and genre), the stylistic (generic and specific) profile, the socio-professional profile of (the linguistic varieties used by) the sender, and the (presumed) background knowledge of its intended audience.

Part B (‘practical’). Our aim is to show to future professional translators the multi-layered structure of texts, which are not mere sequences of words or clauses, but complex “sense-building machines”. We will adopt the framework proposed by de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) and examine the constitutive and regulative principles and levels of textual communication, focussing mainly – although not exclusively – on cohesion, coherence and intertextuality.


REFERENCES (the papers are contained in the Dispensa or on the Net – free download)

Fillmore, Ch. J. (1975), An Alternative to Checklist Theories of Meaning, in C. Cogen et alii (eds.), Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (February 15-17, 1975), Berkeley, Berkeley Linguistics Society, pp. 123- 131.

Hatim, B. (1984), A Text-Typological Approach to Syllabus Design in Translator Training, in “The Incorporated Linguist” 23/3, pp. 146-149.

Mazzoleni, M. (1996), Un modello di interpretazione testual-proposizionale: la “Semantica a Scene e Cornici”, in “Quaderni di semantica” 33 (XVII/1), pp. 149-161.

Mazzoleni, M. (2000), Per una didattica della traduzione come mediazione linguistica e culturale, in “Annali dell’Università per stranieri di Perugia” VIII/27 (N.S.), pp. 219-245.

Mazzoleni, M. (2001), Per una teoria non solo linguistica della traduzione, in M. Lamberti e F. Bizzoni (a cura di), La Italia del siglo XX, México, D.F., Fac. Fil. y Letras UNAM, pp. 403-427.

Mazzoleni, M. (2002), Classificazioni “tipologiche” e classificazioni “generiche” in prospettiva traduttiva, in M. G. Scelfo (a cura di), Le questioni del tradurre: comunicazione, comprensione, adeguatezza traduttiva e ruolo del genere testuale, Roma, Edizioni Associate Editrice Internazionale, pp. 150-159.

Mazzoleni, M. e Menin, R. (2011), Traduzione e conoscenze (non) condivise, in “mediAzioni” 11 [http://www.mediazioni.sitlec.unibo.it/index.php/no-11-anno-2011/76-articoliarticles-no-11-2011/184-traduzione-e-conoscenze-non-condivise.html].

Tudor, I. (1987), A Framework for the Translational Analysis of Texts, in “The Linguist” 26/2, pp. 80-82.



De Beaugrande, R.-A. e Dressler, W. U. (1981), Introduzione alla linguistica testuale, trad. it. Bologna, Il Mulino, 1984.

Ferrari, A. (2014), Linguistica del testo. Principi, fenomeni, strutture, Roma, Carocci.

Ferrari, A. (2019), Che cos’è un testo, Roma, Carocci (“Bussole 587, Linguistica”).

Teaching methods

As for all non-elective courses, students must attend at least 70% of the lessons.

Assessment methods

In the class exercises during the semester and the final written exam (time: 2 hours), students will perform a practical analysis of a text or of a self-contained text fragment, using chromatic alphabets and indexical, iconic-diagrammatic and symbolic signs to highlight the elements which ensure text continuity following the above mentioned principles and levels:

1) Cohesion: anaphoric chain/s of the main text referent/s, and other formal connections between text blocks;

2) Coherence: distribution of words, phrases, clauses and sentences within the linguistic frames corresponding to the main thematic fields of the text;

3) Intentionality: main communicative aim of the sender with respect to the addressee (text type) and any specific textual markers;

4) Acceptability: possible problems for the addressee;

5) Situationality: main elements of the communicative context – sender, addressee, place and time of the utterance – and any textual traces;

6) Informativity: any deviation (to a higher or lower level of informativeness) in the in the internal text dynamics;

7) Intertextuality: text genre and any quotations and/or allusions.

Non-Italian native speakers are allowed to use mono- and bi-lingual dictionaries.

The overall mark for the course of Theory and Linguistics for Translators (i.c.) will be calculated on the basis of the average of the two marks obtained in the assessments of the modules that make up the course.

The mark of the written exam of the module Text Linguistics will be calculated by applying the following definitions of ECTS Grading Scale (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECTS_grading_scale):

A [≈ 30/30 – 30/30 cum laude]: outstanding performance with only minor errors;

B [≈ 27/30 – 29/30]: above the average standard but with some errors;

C [≈ 24/30 – 26/30]: generally sound work with a number of notable errors;

D [≈ 21/30 – 23/30]: fair but with significant shortcomings;

E [≈ 18/30 – 20/30]: performance meets the minimum criteria;

F [≈ 15/30 – 17/30]: Fail – some more work required before the credit can be awarded;

FX [≈ 0/30 – 14/30]: Fail – considerable further work is required.

Teaching tools

Papers, texts to be analyzed and - optionally  - one of the above suggested handbooks.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Mazzoleni


Quality education

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