Academic year
2017/2018 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM0016 (AF:247872 AR:135569)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The aim of the course is to provide students with useful skills to handle the study of LIS through a linguistic approach. In particular, the aim is to stimulate the production of specific area texts in LIS (for students who have previously studied Italian Sign Language), otherwise, the course aims at developing the basic grammatical and lexical competence of Italian Sign Language (for students who have not studied it previously). Moreover the aim is to understand how to interpret various linguistic and cultural phenomena connected to deafness.

Detailed learning objectives

1. Knowledge and understanding
The student will get to know and understand the difficulties of deaf people regarding language acquisition, the linguistic competence of Italian Sign Language and the linguistic competence of a foreign oral language.
The student will learn about the consequences of hearing loss from a social, linguistic and cognitive point of view.
The student acquires knowledge about the peculiarities of languages that have no written form as Italian Sign Language.
The student learns about the possible use of Italian Sign Language in communicative disabilities.
For the student that has not attended an Italian Sign Language course previously: he/she understands the functional equivalent of the phonology of sign languages and especially of Italian Sign Language.
The student learns and understands the fundamental phonological and morphological processes of Italian Sign Language.
The student acquires the basic lexicon and grammar of Italian Sign Language.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding
The student is able to use the linguistic terminology correctly.
The student is able to recognize and describe the characteristics of languages that have no written form and identify some of them in sign languages.
The student is able to identify the contexts in which the use of Sign Languages is considered to be appropriate, to resolve problems inherent in communicative disabilities, through participation in internships and job training programmes (in schools, special needs institutions, care homes for the elderly, etc.), and subsequently report back on their experience.
The student is able to integrate the knowledge provided during the course with further research connected to issues relating to language, culture, education, the application of LIS in different areas.

3. Making judgements
The student is able to obtain research information autonomously, to formulate hypotheses, and express his/her opinions on specific themes underlying Italian Sign Language.

4. Communication skills
The student is able to communicate in a clear and unambiguous form, citing sources appropriately.
The student is able to interact with the peers, the professor and the tutor in a critical and respectful way.
The student is able to interact in Italian Sign Language in basic communicative situations (basic students) or advanced communicative situation (advanced students).

5. Learning skills
The student is able to apply the method of critical thinking, to make cross-linguistic comparisons, and identify research lines.
The student is able to consult the literature present in the texts and articles and search for new sources.
The course of Italian Sign Language is divided into the theoretical module (taught by Prof. Carmela Bertone in one semester) and the yearly linguistic practice (taught by Dott. Gabriele Caia).

Part supervised by the teacher:
The lessons will be conducted in the form of seminars for each topic.
Oral language and written language
Writing of oral language and deafness
Writing in Italian Sign Language
Thought and language: men without words
Bimodal bilingualism
Deaf education and teaching of Italian to deaf students
Study and teaching of foreign languages to deaf people
Foreigner deaf in Italy,
Use of LIS for other disabilities
Translation italian/LIS,
Diastratic variation in LIS
A list with the topic of each lesson with respective bibliographies will be provided.

Part supervised by the mother tongue expert:
For basic students a practicum in LIS (only practical lessons of LIS1) must be attended.
Advanced LIS students has to attend a 28-hours course comprised of the following topics.
• Theory and practice of poetry
• Improvement of prosody and facial expressions in LIS
• Language specific areas.
Reference books for basic LIS student

Bertone C. (a cura di) 2013, Pinocchio in LIS. Edizioni Cafoscarina (VE)
Cardinaletti A. Branchini C. (a cura di) 2016, "la lingua dei segni nelle disabilità comunicative". FrancoAngeli.
Chesi C. 2006, Il linguaggio verbale non standard dei bambini sordi, Roma E.U.R.
Fabbretti D. Tommasuolo E. 2006, Scrittura e Sordità, Carocci
Halliday M. 1985, Lingua parlata e lingua scritta, La Feltrinelli.
Ong W. J. 1977, Oralità e Scrittura, Il Mulino
Radutzky E. 2001, Dizionario bilingue elementare della Lingua Italiana dei Segni, Ed. Kappa.
Trovato S. 2014, Insegno in segni, Raffaello Cortina Ed.
Shaller S. 1991, A man without words, New York : Summit Books.

Linguistic practice for basic LIS students:
DVD, "Pa-Pa" (Cultura Sorda, Ironia, Barzellette e Storia dei sordi), il monologo di Gabriele Caia
DVD, la lingua dei Segni Italiana: corso elementare.
I primi 400 segni. Piccolo dizionario della Lingua dei segni italiana per comunicare con i sordi. 2008. A cura di Natalia Angelini, Rossano Borgioli, Anna Folchi, Matteo Mastromatteo. Carocci
Other material might be suggested by the teacher during lectures

Reference book for advanced LIS student
Bertone C., 2007, La struttura del sintagma determinante nella Lingua dei Segni Italiana, LIS. Tesi di dottorato. Dipartimento di Scienze del Linguaggio, Ca’ Foscari, Venezia.
Brentari D. 1998, A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology. MIT Press
Brunelli M. 2009, “La “sinistra” periferia sinistra: sintassi della Lingua dei Segni Italiana, analizzata alla luce dell’Antisimmetria e dello split-CP”. In Bertone, C., A. Cardinaletti (a cura di) Alcuni capitoli della grammatica della LIS. Atti dell’Incontro di studio “La grammatica della Lingua dei segni italiana”. Cafoscarina. Venezia, 117-136.
Neidle C., J. Kegl, D. Mac Laughlin, B. Bahan, R. Lee, 2000 The Syntax of American Sign Language: functional categories and hierarchical structure. MIT Press

Linguistic practice for advanced LIS students
Notes of lectures and other material suggested by the teacher during the lessons.
written and oral
Students will be evaluated through two different stages:
(i) a production and discussion of monographic thesis inspired by a topic touched in the seminars during the course.
(ii) For advanced LIS students a written examination aiming at verifying the linguistic comprehension of LIS and a following oral examination aiming at verifying the advanced communicative competence developed during the linguistic practice in LIS.
(ii) For basic LIS students a written examination aiming at verifying the linguistic comprehension of LIS and a following oral examination aiming at verifying the basic communicative competence developed in LIS.
The final score is the mean of the first examination and the result of the two scores of the second examination
Lectures and linguistic practices directed to individuals and groups.
An extensive range of video recorded linguistic material will be used. Students will use the software GoReact ( ) specifically developed for the correction of linguistic practice in sign language. Students will receive feedback to their linguistic exercise through the software GoReact from the teacher carrying out linguist practice in Italian Sign Language.
Students not attending the course will have to contact the teacher to plan an alternative program.
  • Lecture notes, material for reference or for self-assessment available online or as e-book
Last update of the programme: 19/12/2017