English II [Commercio Internazionale] (2007/2008)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Ivana Lorenzetti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 18, 2008 al May 31, 2008.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course aim is to provide an introduction to the study of the English language from a semantic and pragmatic perspective.


The main topics covered will be:

Lexical Semantics:

- The Structure of the English Lexicon;
- Currently available Lexicographic Resources for the Study of the English Lexicon;
- Levels of Meaning;
- Main Sense Relations (syntagmatic, paradigmatic)
- The representation of Meaning: Componential Analysis, Semantic Fields, Prototype Theory, Frame Semantics

The Information structure of the English Sentence:
- Given and New Information (topic and focus);
- Variation in the Structure of the Sentence (fronting, inversion, cleft sentences, extraposition, existential sentences)

- Text, Context and Co-text;
- Principles and Standards of Textuality;
- Cohesion and Coherence in texts;
- Text types;
- Speech-act Theory;
- Grice’s Theory of Conversational Implicature;

Reading List:

Crystal, David (1995) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (Ch. 8 - The Nature of the Lexicon:117-123; Ch. 9 – The Sources of the Lexicon: 124-135; Ch. 11- The Structure of the Lexicon: 156-169)
De Beaugrande Robert and Wolfgang U. Dressler (1980) Introduction to Text Linguistics, London, Longman
Fillmore, Charles and Beryl T. Atkins (1992) "Toward a Frame-Based Lexicon: The Semantics of RISK and its Neighbors" in Adrienne Lehrer and Eva Feder Kittay (eds.) Frames, Fields and Contrasts, Hillsdale, N.J., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 75-102
*Grice, H. Paul (1975) “Logic and Conversation”, in Peter Cole (ed.) Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, New York, Academic Press: 41-58
Jeffries, Lesley (2006) Discovering Language. The Structure of Modern English, London, Palgrave
Petruck, Miriam (1996) “Frame Semantics” in Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert, and Chris Bulcaen (eds.). Handbook of Pragmatics, Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. http://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=42
Saeed, John I. (2003) Semantics, London, Blackwell
*Searle, John R. (1975) "A Classification of Illocutionary Acts" Language in Society 5: 1-23

As an alternative, or to integrate texts indicated with the symbol *, students can study the following chapters from Huang Yan (2006) Pragmatics, Oxford, Oxford University Press:
Ch. 2 "Implicature" (par. 2-2.1.5 included; 2.3-2.4): 23-36; 54-63
Ch. 4 "Speech Acts": 93-131

Advanced and Optional:
Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad and Geoffrey Leech (2002) Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, London, Longman
Violi, Patrizia (1996) Significato ed Esperienza, Milano, Bompiani

Additional bibliographic references will be indicated during the course

Assessment methods and criteria

a) intermediate tests during the course. The final mark of each test must be 18 or higher. Dates will be announced during the course. In order to take these test, students must enrol on a paper provided in class. Attendance to 80% of classes is required. If only one of the intermediate tests obtains a positive mark, students can enroll for the test at point b) and take only the related part of the test. This option is available only for the Summer session (June-July) of the exam.

b) Final written test. It will last 2 hours and include open questions, exercises and analyses.

Both typologies of test will be in English. The first exams for test b) will be in the June-July session. The final mark is comprehensive of the CLA Certification and will be registered after completing the various parts in the exam.
Requirements: Students wishing to take the Lingua Inglese 2 exam, must have passed and registered Lingua Inglese 1.
NB: Those who wish to take the final exam at point b) are reminded that they will automatically lose marks obtained in intermediate tests, when submitting their paper.