Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0220 (AF:354243 AR:190722)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Term
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the Bachelor Degree in Humanities (Lettere), curriculum of Antiquity and curriculum of Science of the literary text and communication.
Aim of the course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of the internal linguistic history of Italian, especially as far as the main evolutions from Latin into 14-th century Florentine, (basis of the national language) are concerned. The achievement of these objectives will enable students to apply autonomously the methods and tools of historical linguistics to Italian and, more generally, to the Italo-Romance dialects.
1. Knowledge and Comprehension:
1.1 To be familiar with the levels of linguistic analysis (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon) and to be able to distinguish them, especially as far as Italian is concerned.
1.2 To be familiar with the phonemes of Italian, the scientific terminology defining them and the corresponding symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
1.3 To understand the historical-comparative method, applied to the reconstruction of how Latin developed into the Romance languages.
1.4 To be familiar with the main developments from Latin into Italian.
2. Capability of applying knowledge and comprehension:
2.1 To know how to write and transcribe Italian words in International Phonetic Alphabet.
2.2 To associate the main evolutions regarding Italian to universal processes of linguistic change (diphthongization, voicing, palatalization, etc.).
2.3 To be able to explain the evolution of a word or a form of Old and Modern Italian, from the etymon to its final development.
3. Judgement ability:
3.1 To evaluate critically the plausibility of a phonetic evolution reconstructed for an Italian word or form.
3.2 To describe and evaluate critically two or more concurring hypotheses in order to explain a linguistic change of Italian.
4. Communicative abilities:
4.1 to be able to communicate the specific characteristics of Italian historical linguistics, by connecting them with Vulgar Latin and its evolution into Romance.
4.2 to make use of a convenient scientific terminology by describing linguistic categories and phenomena.
5. Learning abilities:
5.1 to be able to study critically the reference texts, by hierarchizing information and allowing notions to interact mutually.

None. Students are recommended to have attended (or attend in the same period of the lessons) Principles of Linguistics I. The course requires an elementary knowledge of the Latin language, which can be acquired by reading a basic Latin grammar or attending the Basic Latin Laboratory.
The course provides students with principles of Italian synchronic linguistics and historical grammar, a term by which the main transformations from Latin to 14th-century Florentine, the basis for the future national language, is intended. After introducing some general notions on the external history and the structures of Italian (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax), the course will focus on the most relevant changes from Latin to Medieval Florentine, especially concentrating on the Latin-Romance transition.
Massimo Palermo, Linguistica italiana, 2a ed., Bologna, il Mulino, 2020, chapters 1-4 (pages 19-164).
Luca Serianni, Lezioni di grammatica storica italiana, Roma, Bulzoni, 1998.
Gianluca Lauta, Esercizi di grammatica storica, Roma, Carocci, 2011 (not obligatory).
Written exam (1 hour), with both closed and open questions.
Frontal teaching. Materials shown and commented upon during the lessons will be available on the Ca' Foscari Moodle platform.
Students not attending the lessons will have to prepare the same program of the students who attend the lessons.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 15/09/2021