28862 - Italian Language and Culture (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is aware of the evolution and stabilization processes of the Italian language. He is able to frame in a sincronic and diachronic way phonological, morphosyntactic and lexical aspects of Italian, with particular attention to its varieties. Trough the use of specialized scientific methods, he is able to investigate the linguistic and philological studies, with specific reference to the relationship between language and culture.

Course contents

Lexicon and Italian Lexicography

Starting from the assumption that everyone knows that language is the means that a population uses to represent itself and its culture and that linguistic history can be read as the story of a people (the Italians) and of the language they speak, the Italian of yesterday and today will be analyzed in its lexical parts, focusing on the diatopic varieties and on the sectoral varieties. Taking into account the history of words and the conversion and stabilization processes of the Italian vocabulary, the tools of Italian lexicography will be consolidated in the second part of the course, examining the vocabularies from a structural and historical point of view (from the first dictionaries to the contemporary ones); in addition new methodologies relating to the realization of modern dictionaries from computerized corpora will be studied. Through the analysis of lexicographic tools, it will also be highlighted how the research paths can lead to significant results in other fields of study, such as philology and linguistics.


  1. Teaching materials available on the e-learning platform of the course.
  2. Valeria Della Valle, La lessicografia, in Luca Serianni, e Pietro Trifone (edd.), Storia della lingua italiana, vol. I, I luoghi della codificazione, Einaudi, Torino 1993, pp. 29-91, only §§ 1, 2, 3, 4 (pp. 29-43).
  3. Claudio Marazzini, L’ordine delle parole. Storia di vocabolari italiani, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009, from chap. III La Crusca e la lessicografia del sec. XVII onwards (pp. 127-)
  4. Riccardo Gualdo e Stefano Telve, Linguaggi specialistici dell'italiano, Roma, Carocci, 2011, only §§ 1 Una definizione ancora oscillante (pp. 17-21), 2 Dimensione e variazione nei linguaggi specialistici (pp. 21-77), 3.1 La formazione del lessico specialistico (pp. 77- 117), 3.4 La semantica lessicale (pp. 130- 136).
  5. Mirko Tavoni, Dante e la lingua italiana, to be published (free download: https://www.academia.edu/36719967/M._Tavoni._2018._Dante_e_la_lingua_italiana.pdf).

Non-attending students shall use the following texts instead of those specified at point 1:

  1. Francesco Sabatini, Un ponte tra l'età di Dante e l'Unità nazionale, in VV. AA., Una lingua e il suo Vocabolario, Firenze, Accademia della Crusca, 2014, pp. 9-16 (free download: http://www.edizionidicrusca.it/download2/PDF/564_453.pdf)
  2. Tullio De Mauro, La Fabbrica delle Parole. Il lessico e problemi di lessicologia, Torino, Utet, 2005.
  3. Giovanni Adamo e Valeria Della Valle, Le parole del lessico italiano, Roma, Carocci, edition 2018, only chap. I Che cos’è il lessico, pp. 9-34.

Teaching methods

Lecturers and seminars.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist of a written test containing five open-ended questions: structured answers will be required in response to the first two questions (maximum score: 10 points each), three questions will require a short and targeted response (maximum score: 4 points each). All the questions will have the objective of verifying the comprehension and the knowledge of the course contents, they will require the critical elaboration of the main topics covered by the course and will refer to the bibliography.

The final grade will be given in thirtieths as the result of the sum of the scoring obtained from each answer (scores 31 and 32 correspond to the high distinction, cum laude) and will be based on the verification of the course contents and of the knowledge of the assigned bibliography; the ability to elaborate the contents in a critical way, the correct use of a specific lexicon, the good exposition, the application of learned topics to real cases will be part of the global evaluation.

For non-native speakers and CLE students an oral examination can be held.

Teaching tools

Students who will regularly attend the course could use the materials made available online by the teacher

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Coluccia