English language 2 (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Ivana Lorenzetti
Maria Ivana Lorenzetti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Feb 15, 2021 al May 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aim is to provide an introduction to the study of the English language from a syntactic and semantic perspective. At the end of the course students will have awareness of the building elements of the English sentence, which they will be able to analyse from multiple perspectives. Moreover, they will possess knowledge of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie the construction of the lexicon of the English language. C1 level (Computer-based test) is a prerequisite for the course


Course Syllabus

The main topics covered will be:

- The Building Blocks of Language: Words, Word Classes and Phrases
- Clauses and Sentences (both Simple and Complex)
- Predicates, Arguments and Thematic Roles

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)

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

Reading List:

Aarts, Bas (2001) English Syntax and Argumentation, 4th edition, London, Palgrave Macmillan
Cruse, Alan (2010) Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics, 3rd Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Advanced and Optional:

Violi, Patrizia (1996) Significato ed Esperienza, Milano, Bompiani
Saeed, John I. (2003) Semantics, London, Blackwell

Additional bibliographic references will be indicated during the course. Class presentations will be made available on-line during the course.

Grammar Textbooks:

Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad and Geoffrey Leech (2002) Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, London, Longman


- Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary for Advanced Learners, 2nd Edition, Collins
- Merriam Webster English Dictionary
-Grande Dizionario Inglese Hazon Garzanti, nuova edizione 2017, Milano, Garzanti

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Aarts Bas English Syntax and Argumentation (Edizione 6) Palgrave Macmillan 2008
Cruse Alan Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics (Edizione 3) Oxford University Press 2010 9780199559466

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test including open questions, exercises and analyses. The test will last 2 hours and will be in English.

English Language 1;
English C1 level (Computer-based test);
English Literature 1.

Final Remarks: students are recommended to check the course homepage regularly for an updated version of the program.