84645 - Typological Linguistics (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

Reduced inequalities Life on land

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will know in depth the methods of analysis and the main results of the typological approach to the study of natural languages; s/he will know the main theoretical bases of linguistic typology ( cross-linguistic comparison, the notion of linguistic type, the difference between absolute and implicational universals, implicational hierarchies, semantic maps, linguistic areas, etc.); s/he will be able to manage the typological analysis of a language or a linguistic phenomenon.

Course contents

The course, addressed primarily to students with a strong background in language sciences, will be dedicated, in its first part, to the definition of the foundations of the linguistic typology:

- the notion of type

- the construction of a representative sample of languages

- methods and tools of the typological analysis

- the linguistic universals and their possible explanations

- the theory of markedness

- the traditional morphological and syntactic typology

In the second part we will focus on some examples of typological analysis of linguistic categories:

- the parts of the speech

- coordination

- derivation and inflection

Finally, the correlation between tipolpogical variation and sociolinguistic variation will be analyzed.


For the general part, attending and not attending students will have to follow the following indications:

- It is required the preliminary knowledge of Nicola Grandi (2014), Fondamenti di tipologia linguistica, Roma, Carocci (also previous editions are fine) and Banfi, E. e Grandi, N. (eds.) (2008), Le lingue extraeuropee: Americhe, Australia e lingue di contatto, Roma, Carocci (chapters 1 e 2, pag. 35-67)

This means that the two texts are for taking the course with the appropriate initial knowledge, not that they are exam programs

- Grandi. N. e Mauri, C. (a cura di) (2022), La tipologia linguistica. Unità e diversità nelle lingue del mondo, Roma, Carocci (Grandi. N. e Mauri, C. (a cura di) (2022), La tipologia linguistica. Unità e diversità nelle lingue del mondo, Roma, Carocci (the book will be published in September-October 2022)

For the monographic part, attending students will study the slides presented during the lectures the articles that will be presented and discussed in the lectures. The slides and articles will be made available in pdf format on the University portal.

For the monographic part, non-attending students must prepare one of the following volumes:

Cristofaro, S. e Putzu, I. (ed.) (2000), Languages in the Mediterranea area: typology and convergence, Milano, Franco Angeli

Cristofaro, S. e Ramat, P. (eds.) (1999), Introduzione alla tipologia linguistica, Roma, Carocci

Banfi, E. e Grandi, N. (eds.) (2008), Le lingue extraeuropee: Americhe, Australia e lingue di contatto, Roma, Carocci (a general knowledge of the linguistic regions described is required)

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 maximum rankings. 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 be valued with intermediate rankings.
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 freelychoosen by them.

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


Information for the students of the Second Cycle Degree in Philology, Literature and Classical Tradition:

This course (6 CP) is a component of the integrated course TYPOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS. The integrated course (12 CP) will take place during the first semester; the module of Historical Linguistics will take place in the first period and will start on September 26, 2018. The second module, Typological Linguistics, will take place in the second period and will start immediately after the end of this course. The final grade will be the mean of the results obtained in each part.

Teaching tools

In the lectures I'll make use of Power Point presentations that will be available to the students in the website https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Office hours

See the website of Nicola Grandi