The course aims at providing students with an introduction to the scientific study of natural languages from a historical and diachronic perspective.
The course will describe and discuss the principles of language change, focusing specifically on the articulation and function of sounds (phonetic and phonological change) and on the word structure (morphological change) and meaning (semantic change). It will also discuss the main causes of language change and will analyze the ways in which linguistic innovations spread in a certain geographical area.
Fanciullo, F. (2007), Introduzione alla linguistica storica, Bologna, Il Mulino.
Luraghi, S. (2006), Introduzione alla linguistica storica, Roma, Carocci editore.
Mc McMahon , A.M.S. (1994), Understanding language Change, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
The final exam aims at assessing the theoretical knowledge acquired by the students during the course, as well as their ability to apply this knowledge to concrete cases of linguistic analysis.
The assessment is carried out by means of a preliminary written examination, followed by an oral examination. The results of the written examination will be published on the webpage of the course together with the schedule of the oral assessment.
The written examination will last 1:30 and will consist of 15 questions of different nature: there will be both open and multiple choice questions, which may deal with both theoretical and practical aspects of the program. The latter are exercises which asses the students’ ability to apply the acquired theoretical notions to concrete cases. The questions refer to all the topics mentioned in the program, both those addressed during the classes and those that are studied autonomously by the students. The oral assessment will consist in an interview on the same program.
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