84879 - General Linguistics L (CL1)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the students will acquire an exhaustive knowledge of theoretical and methodological foundations of language sciences. The course will provide the students with the basic notions and procedures for linguistic analysis, as well as with the appropriate terminology. At the end of the course, the students will be able to analyze the structure and functions of different types of texts.

Course contents

The course introduces students to linguistics, providing them with the knowledge and the competencies needed for studying human language in general, as well as its specific realisations.

In the first module, “Foundations of linguistic analysis”, language will be approached as a unique human capacity, focusing on properties such as arbitrariness of the linguistic sign and productivity. Attention will then move towards the main levels of linguistic structure and analysis: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. In the module “Perspectives on human language”, the shared properties of individual languages and sources of inter- and intralinguistic variation will be discussed, from typological and sociolinguistic perspectives. Special attention will be given to the phenomena of bilingualism and multilingualism and the relevance of linguistic analysis for translation and interpreting. Finally, a selection of research methods for studying language will be introduced, such as language corpora.


All materials made available on the Virtuale platform are to be considered as teaching/learning materials.

Students are advised to read:

Berruto, Gaetano & Cerruti, Massimo (2011). La linguistica. Un corso introduttivo. Torino: UTET. (or the second, 2017 edition)

Teaching methods

Frontal instruction with practical exercises in linguistic analysis

Assessment methods

General Linguistics (5 ECST) is a component of the integrated course in Linguistics I (10 ECTS), which also comprises Italian Language (5 ECTS).

Students are reminded that attendance is compulsory (a minimum of 70% of the lectures).

The coursework will be assessed through a written exam.

The registration of the mark will be possible once the exams in both components have been passed. The final mark will take into account the two marks obtained for Italian Language and General Linguistics.

Assessment scale

30-30L: Broad and in-depth knowledge of course contents, excellent ability to apply theoretical concepts in practice, excellent presentation skills, as well as excellent ability to analyse and synthesise.

27-29: Detailed and complete knowledge of course contents, good ability to apply theoretical concepts in practice, good ability to analyse and synthesise, good presentation skills.

24-26: Appropriate knowledge of course contents, fair ability to apply theoretical concepts in practice, fair presentation skills.

21-23: Appropriate but not detailed knowledge of course contents, partial ability to apply theoretical concepts in practice, acceptable presentation skills.

18-20: Sufficient but somewhat vague knowledge of course contents, basic presentation skills, uncertainties in the application of theoretical concepts in practice.

<18 (Fail): Fragmentary and superficial knowledge of course contents, errors in applying theoretical concepts in practice, poor presentation skills.

Teaching tools

All teaching materials (slides, audio/video materials) will be available on Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Maja Milicevic Petrovic

See the website of Gloria Gagliardi