Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT011N (AF:279998 AR:157410)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Surnames A-L
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This is one of the characterising courses within the "Japan" curriculum of the Corso di Laurea in "Lingue, Culture e Società dell'Asia e dell'Africa Mediterranea", the only one belonging to the field "Philology". The course is compulsory for all the students of the Corso di Laurea.
The main goal of the course is to develop the metalinguistic reflection in a diachronic perspective, placing the main linguistic chance in the history of the Japanese language. Particular attention will be given to the phonetic and phonological change from porto-Japanese to contemporary linguistic varieties (standard language, minority languages and dialects).
Knowledge and understanding:
- to know and understand the main phonetic, phonological, morphological and syntactic changes occurred in the history of the Japanese language
- to know and understand the evolution of the Japanese writing system
- to know and understand concepts and techniques of the linguistic analysis, both in a synchronic and diachronic perspectives
- to know and understand the fundamental notions of phonetics and historical phonology

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- to recognise and describe the main steps of the formation of modern Japanese
- to use in a effective way the International Phonetic Alphabet for the transcription of the sounds of Japanese language
- to identify and describe the main phonetic and phonological changes occurred form proto-Japanese to modern Japanese

Making judgements:
- to place, on the basis of a philological analysis of the language structure, a text in a historical period
- to reconstruct all the steps of a phonological change
- to identify the linguistic processes which have contributed to the formation of modern Japanese
- to understand the historical relationship between the evolution of the writing system and the phonetic and phonological changes

- to express and re-elaborate the contents of the program in written form, in a synthetic and effective way, without resorting to automatisms and schematisms resulting from a mnemonic study
- to use the correct terminology for the description of linguistic phenomena, in particular phonetic and phonological phenomena
- to describe with the correct terminology the main phonetic and phonological characteristics of different periods of the history of Japanese language

Lifelong learning skills:
- to be able to apply the acquired knowledges for an autonomous study on the linguistic description of the Japanese language
- to know how to take notes in an effective way
- to know how to critically integrate the study of different materials (notes, slides, manuals, creative texts, academic articles)
- to be able to independently study materials and topics not covered during the lectures
- to refine one's ability to use the online teaching platform
It is desirable that the students possess already a good knowledge of the history of Japan, acquired through (however not exclusively) attending the "History of Japan" (1&2) class.
-Typological aspects of Japanese language
-The origin of Japanese language
-The writing system through time
-Basic notions of phonetics and phonology
-Phonetic and phonological change
-Morphological change
-Syntactic change
-The lexicon through time
-Introduction to Japanese dialectology
Required for the exam:

-Paolo Calvetti (1999) Introduzione alla storia della lingua giapponese. Napoli: Istituto Universitario Orientale-Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici, XI.

-Giuseppe Pappalardo (2012), “Il sistema vocalico del giapponese del periodo Nara: ricostruzioni fonetiche e interpretazioni fonologiche”, in Andrea Maurizi (a cura di) La cultura del periodo Nara, Milano: Franco Angeli, pp. 111-123.

-PowerPoint slides used during the course

More references (not required for the exam):

-Bjarke Frellesvig (1995) A Case Study in Diachronic Phonology: the Japanese Onbin Sound Changes. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.

-Bjarke Frellesvig, John Whitman (eds) (2008), Proto-Japanese: Issues and Prospects, Current Issues In Linguistic Theory 294. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins.

-Bjarke Frellesvig (2010) A History of the Japanese Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

-Giorgio Graffi, Sergio Scalise (2013) Le lingue e il linguaggio. Bologna: il Mulino [chapter IV "I suoni delle lingue: fonetica e fonologia”]

-Patrick Heinrich, Miyara Shinsho, Shimoji Michinori (eds) (2015) The Handbook of the Ryukyuan languages. History, structure and Use. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

-Shibatani Masayoshi (1990) The languages of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

-Nomura Takashi (2011) Hanashi kotoba no nihonshi. Tokyo: Yoshikawa koobunkan.

-Aldo Tollini (2002) Lineamenti di storia della lingua giapponese (dispensa).

-Aldo Tollini (2005) La scrittura del Giappone antico. Venezia: Cafoscarina.

-Timothy J. Vance (2008) The Sounds of Japanese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

- Alexander Vovin, Osada Toshio (eds) (2003) Nihongo no keitōron no genzai. Perspectives on the origins of the Japanese language. Kyōto: Kokusai Nihon bunka sentā.

- Alexander Vovin (2009) Koreo-Japonica. A Re-evaluation of a Common Genetic Origin. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Written examination "closed book" on Moodle (20 minutes):

- 30 multiple-choice questions (no penalties for wrong answers).

1 point for each multiple-choice question (total 30/30).
Conventional, with PowerPoint presentations.
The exam of "History of the Japanese language" is also valid for the students enrolled in the academic year 2016/2017 who have to take the exam "Classical Japanese 1".
From the exam session of January 2018 students must take the exam of Classical Japanese Language 1 with this new program.

See: "moodle" for powerpoint presentations of the lessons, syllabus and further materials.

For organizational reasons and in order to assure the quality of the teaching, the students are recommended to follow the alphabetical partitions.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 24/04/2020