Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0074 (AF:353567 AR:187994)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
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The course is part of the related or additional studies of the master’s degree program in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology, Anthropological Linguistics and is compulsory for all curricula. It aims to provide the knowledge required for reflecting and operating on language and languages from an anthropological point of view, with particular attention to the topic of the linguistic landscape, that is to say the configuration of an anthropic space on the basis of the displayed written texts.
By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to rigorously frame the question of the relationship between languages and cultures in light of the anthropologically salient linguistic phenomenology. Specifically, students are expected to acquire a general knowledge of the history, theories, methods, and fields of application of Ethnolinguistics and a thorough knowledge of the ways in which displayed written texts delineate a linguistic landscape as well as of the related themes of plurilingualism, language attitude and ideology, linguistic identity, and language policy and planning. Students are also expected to acquire the ability to expose issues and problems relevant to Ethnolinguistics using appropriate terminology.
The course requires basic knowledge of general linguistics. These notions will be recalled during the lectures for those who have not previously attended a basic linguistic course. Non-attending students who do not possess these notions are required to read G. Berruto, Corso elementare di linguistica generale, Torino, 1997 (chapters 1-5). The course also requires the ability to understand English written texts and a good knowledge of the Italian language for foreign students.
The first part of the course will cover the following general contents: the history of Ethnolinguistics; the relationship between language and culture; the social dimension of language; the communicative dimension of language; culturally significant functions and uses of language. The second part of the course will focus on linguistic landscapes and, in particular, will analyse their actors, methods, aims, and results from a cultural and social perspective, with examples from various regions of the world.
Compulsory bibliography

G. R. Cardona, Introduzione all’etnolinguistica, Novara, 2006 (chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8).
M. Mancini, B. Turchetta (eds.), Etnografia della scrittura, Roma, 2014 (chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7).

Further readings

As to further readings, attending students are only required to read the excerpts commented on during the classes. Non-attending students are required to read two texts selected from the list (I) and the volume G. R. Cardona, Antropologia della scrittura, Novara, 2009. Texts which cannot be consulted online will be made available on the Moodle platform.

(I) The relationship between language and culture
F. Boas, Handbook of American Indian Languages, I, Washington, 1911, pp. 5-83 (Introduction).
F. Boas, Language, in F. Boas (ed.), General Anthropology, Boston, 1938, pp. 124-145.
E. Sapir, The Status of Linguistics as a Science, in «Language» 5, 1929, pp. 207-214.
B. Malinowski, Coral Gardens and their Magic, London, 1935, pp. 3-74 (An ethnographic theory of language and some practical corollaries).
B. L. Whorf, The relation of habitual thought and behavior to language, in L. Spier, A. I. Hallowell, S. S. Newman (eds.), Language, Culture, and Personality, Menasha, 1941, pp. 75-93.
C. Lévi-Strauss, L’analyse structurale en linguistique et anthropologie, in «Word» 1, 1945, pp. 1-21.
C. Lévi-Strauss, Language and the Analysis of Social Laws, in «American Anthropologist» 53, 1951, pp. 155-163.
C. Lévi-Strauss, Linguistics and Anthropology, in C. Lévi-Strauss, R. Jakobson, C. F. Voegelin, T. A. Sebeok (a cura di), Results of the Conference of Anthropologists and Linguists, Baltimore,1953, pp. 1-10.
K. L. Pike, Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behaviour, The Hague-London, 1967, pp. 1-7 (Language as behavior).
D. Hymes, Foundations in Sociolinguistics. An Ethnographic Approach, Philadelphia, 1974, pp. 1-65 (Toward Ethnographies of Communication).
A. Duranti, Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge, 1997, pp. 51-83 (Linguistic Diversity).

(II) Linguistic landscape
R. Landry, R. Y. Bourhis, Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study, in «Journal of Language and Social Psychology» 16, 1997, pp. 23-49.
R. Scollon, S. W. Scollon, Discourses in place: Language in the material world, London, 2003, pp. 1-24 (Geosemiotics).
H. Kelly-Holmes, Advertising as multilingual communication. Basingstoke, 2005, pp. 107-141, 137-162 (Minority Languages, Accents and Dialects in Advertising; Layers, spaces, signs, networks)
P. Backhaus, Linguistic landscapes: A comparative study of urban multilingualism in Tokyo, Clevedon, 2007, pp. 64-146 (Case Study: Signs of Multilingualism in Tokyo; Conclusions)
K. J. Taylor-Leech, Language choice as an index of identity: Linguistic landscape, in «Journal of Multilingualism» 9-1, 2012, pp. 15-34.
M. Hornsby, D. Vigers, Minority semiotic landscapes: An ideological minefield?, in D. Gorter, H. F. Marten, L. Van Mensel (eds.), Minority languages in the linguistic landscape, Basingstoke, 2012, pp. 57-73.
R. J. Blackwood, S. Tufi, The linguistic landscape of the Mediterranean: French and Italian coastal cities, Basingstoke, 2015, pp. 75-103 (Peripherality in the Border Areas: Trieste and Northern Catalonia).
R. Rubdy, S. B. Said (eds.), Conflict, exclusion and dissent in the linguistic landscape, Basingstoke, 2015, pp. 1-24 (Conflict and Exclusion: The Linguistic Landscape as an Arena of Contestation).
Learning will be assessed through an interview on the topics of the course and compulsory texts for attending students, on the topics of compulsory texts and selected further readings for non-attending students. In particular, mastery of the topics, ability in presentation, and terminological adequacy will be taken into account for evaluation.
Classroom-taught classes with the help of presentations for reading and commenting on excerpts from the further readings.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 12/07/2021