Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM0016 (AF:330459 AR:175806)
Blended (on campus and online classes)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course of Italian Sign Language (LIS) is included in the the Master's Degree in Language Sciences. The course consists of two parts: a year-round language practice course (“esercitazioni”) and a theoretical module held in the first semester.
The main aims of the course are: the acquisition of advanced communicative skills in LIS, the in-depth analysis of pragmatic and discourse phenomena in LIS, and the development of basic translation strategies from LIS to Italian and vice versa.
1. Knowledge and understanding:
- understanding complex texts in LIS of different types and genres;
- knowledge of the lexical, grammatical, pragmatic, and textual elements that can be used to analyze advanced texts in LIS;
- knowledge of the different dimensions of linguistic variation characterizing LIS.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding:
- implementation of the acquired knowledge to understand and analyze complex texts in LIS of different types and registers;
- use of the correct terminology in the description of linguistic phenomena in LIS;
- comparison of linguistic structures of LIS and Italian to be able to plan adequate translation strategies.

3. Making judgements:
- making judgments on the well-formedness of linguistic data on the basis of metalinguistic considerations;
- evaluation of different translation strategies considering the communicative intent and analyzing LIS and Italian structures cross-linguistically;
- capacity to find bibliographical references autonomously.

4. Communication:
- clear, accurate, and fluent interaction in LIS in advanced communicative contexts;
- description of linguistic analyses of texts in LIS and cross-linguistic comparisons (LIS/Italian) by means of argumentative strategies and correct terminology;
- interaction with peers, professor and tutor in a critical and respectful way.

5. Learning skills:
- implementation of cross-linguistic comparisons and translation techniques;
- use of technological tools to realize translations from and to LIS and prepare audiovisual materials in an accessible format;
- selection of bibliographical references and electronic resources in the field of LIS linguistics.
This course is intended for advanced students (i.e. students who have attended a three-year course in LIS).
Non-advanced students of LIS are requested to contact the professor.
The MA course in LIS is divided into two parts: a one-semester theoretical module and a year-round language practice course ("esercitazioni").
Advanced students (those who have already attended a three-year course in LIS) are referred to the language practice course and the theoretical module presented in this webpage. Beginning students should contact the professor.

Theoretical module (for advanced students)
The module consists of two parts:
1) description of pragmatic and discourse phenomena of LIS: referentiality and reference chains, discourse analysis, mechanisms of textual cohesion and coherence, use of space at discourse level, figurative language, linguistic registers, communicative interaction;
2) analysis and description of LIS poetry;
3) cross-linguistic comparison between LIS and Italian and translation strategies. Students will learn basic translation techniques: e.g. technical aspects and accessibility, comparison between sequential and simultaneous linguistic strategies, lexical and syntactic ambiguity, approaches to translation (domestication/foreignization), development of paraphrasing skills and analysis of translation strategies.

Language practice (for advanced students)
The native-signing tutor will present exercises aimed at developing the following language skills:
- LIS poetry: theory and techniques;
- improvement of prosodic competence and facial expressions;
- technical glossary in LIS.
Theoretical module (for advanced students)
- notes of the lectures and study material provided by the professor (everything will be available in electronic format in the Moodle virtual classroom);
- Quer, J. et al. (eds.). 2019. SignGram Blueprint. A Guide to Sign Language Grammar Writing. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. —> only Part 7 (“Pragmatics”), Chapters 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11;
- Winston, E. & C. Roy. 2015. Discourse analysis and sign languages. In A. Schembri & C. Lucas (eds.) Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities. Cambridge University Press. 95-119;
- Celo, P. (ed). 2015. I segni del tradurre. Riflessioni sulla traduzione in lingua dei segni italiana. Ariccia: Aracne;
- Fontana, S. 2013. Tradurre Lingue dei Segni. Modena: Mucchi. —> only Chapter 4, 107-126;
- Danese, L. 2011. La traduzione dall’italiano alla LIS: proposta di accessibilità dei contenuti turistici e culturali. In A. Cardinaletti, C. Cecchetto e C. Donati (eds.), Grammatica, lessico e dimensioni di variazione nella LIS. Milano: Franco Angeli, 231-245;
- Bertone C. (ed). 2013. Pinocchio in LIS. Venezia: Edizioni Cafoscarina, 9-54.
- H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Jenifer L. Nelson, Heidi M. Rose, (eds) 2006 Signing the Body Poetic, University of California Press, Ltd

Language practice (for advanced students)
- lecture notes;
- further study material may be suggested by the tutor during classes.
The exam related to language practice consists of a written examination aiming at verifying comprehension skills in LIS and an oral examination aiming at verifying productive skills in LIS. The exam related to the theoretical module consists in the realization of a 8/10-page individual research paper. It should deal with the topics discussed in class and it should include: discourse analysis, comparative analysis LIS/Italian, translation accompanied by a critical analysis of the adopted translation techniques. Moreover, attending students are requested to do three exercises in the Moodle platform during the course and non-attending students are requested to add a section on methodological issues to the research paper.

The exam changes during the Covid-19 emergency as follows: The exam related to the theoretical module will not undergo any changes. As for the exam related to language practice, the comprehension test will consist of a list of questions connected to a few LIS videos and will be held during a Google Meet session, and the production test will be held during another Google Meet session.

The final score is the mean of the scores obtained in the examinations related to language practice and the score obtained in the examination related to the theoretical module.
Lectures and class discussion.
Moodle virtual classroom.
Language practice (both individually and in groups).
An extensive range of video recorded linguistic material will be used.
Classes will be held in LIS and in Italian.
written and oral

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: 25/08/2020