Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM8000 (AF:381883 AR:212214)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The course Culture and Deafness is part of the Master's Degree in Language Sciences. It is held in the first part of the academic year.
The aim of the course is to provide students with useful skills to explain the consequences of deafness related to language and culture of the majority. The final aim is to develop an awareness in order to direct the inclusion of the people with linguistic disability and in order to understand how to interpret various linguistic and cultural phenomena connected to deafness.
The outcome of the course is that the students will have an understanding of:
the phenomena of written language as a technology that determined a different approach to culture;
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 difficulties of deaf people in their line of work;
the consequences of hearing loss from a social, linguistic and cognitive point of view;
sign languages historical background and people's vision towards deafness over the centuries;
the peculiarities of languages that have no written form as Italian Sign Language;
the possible use of Italian Sign Language in communicative disabilities;
the meaning of linguistic accessibility and text legibility.
The meaning of poetic production in sign language and the basis of poetic analysis in sign language

As regards applying knowledge and understanding, students will also have acquired skills necessary to:
to use the linguistic terminology correctly;
recognize and describe the characteristics of languages that have no written form and identify some of them in sign languages;
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 experiences;
integrate the knowledge provided during the course with further research connected to issues relating to language, culture, education and the application of LIS in different areas;
identify the inaccessible linguistic elements in a text in case of linguistic disability.

The student will be able to obtain research materials autonomously, formulate hypotheses, and express their opinions on specific themes included in the course. Moreover, they will be able to consult the literature present in the texts and articles and search for new sources, identify research lines, apply the method of critical thinking, and produce a text on their academic and/or practical experience on a specific theme.
Knowledge of Italian Sign Language, even if only at a beginner level, is preferred.

The lessons will be conducted in the form of seminars for each topic.

- Oral language and written language: correlation with cultural elements.
- Language and thought. People without words are without thought?
- From gestures to the signs
- Acquisition of language in case of deafness.
- The comprehension of the Italian language and written non-standard production, Together with evaluation problems.
- Linguistic and communicative accessibility in school, work and everyday life.
- Study and teaching of foreign languages to deaf people
- Use of LIS for other disabilities
- Traditional Italian cultural production and deafness (songs, fairytales, books…)
- Music and deaf people
- Foundations of poetic analysis in sign language

A list of the topic of each lesson with respective bibliographies will be provided.
In-depth bibliographic material will be provided during the lessons in relation to the topics covered. Websites will be also recommended.

Bertone C. (in prep.), La poetica del silenzio. Approccio alla poesia in lingua dei segni, Franco Angeli.
Bertone C. (a cura di) 2013, Pinocchio in LIS. Edizioni Cafoscarina (VE)
Cardinaletti A. (a cura di) 2018, Test linguistici accessibili per studenti sordi e con DSA. Pari opportunità per l’accesso all’Università., FrancoAngeli.
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.
Diderot D. 1968, Lettera sui sordomuti e altri scritti sulla natura e sul bello, Guanda ed, Franzini (a cura di).
Fabbretti D. Tommasuolo E. 2006, Scrittura e Sordità, Carocci.
Halliday M. 1985, Lingua parlata e lingua scritta, La Feltrinelli.
Ladd P., 2003, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Ong W. J. 1977, Oralità e Scrittura, Il Mulino.
Orletti F. (ed.) (2021): Comunicare il patrimonio culturale. Accessibilità comunicativa, tecnologie e sostenibilità. Milano: Franco Angeli
Radutzky E. 2001, Dizionario bilingue elementare della Lingua Italiana dei Segni, Ed. Kappa.
Russo Cardona T. Volterra V. 2007, Le lingue dei segni. Storia e semiotica, Carocci, Roma.
Sacks O. 2009, Vedere Voci, Adelphi.
Shaller S. 1991, A man without words, New York : Summit Books.
Trovato S. 2014, Insegno in segni, Raffaello Cortina Ed.
Volterra V. 2007, Le lingue dei segni, Carocci ed.

Practice linguistic exercises for beginner-level 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.

Notes of the lessons and other material suggested by the teacher during the lectures.
The final exam consists of a written monographic essay, of about 15 pages, and then discussed, and the evaluation takes into account also the interpretative competence of linguistic and cultural phenomena related to deafness.
The topic chosen by the student will be inspired by one of those addressed during the course and communicated to the teacher before the delivery.
The following skills will be assessed: the research of sources, methodology, creativity, exposition and considerations.

Criteria for writing the paper:
Font and layout: Times New Roman or accessible font (sans serif), pt. 11, justified text. Divide the paper into numbered sections. Do not include a table of contents but include a bibliography and number all the pages. Page of about 1800 characters (30 lines by 60 characters). The maximum length of the paper: 15 pages.
The paper should be submitted via email at least 10 days before the oral text. The email subject should be "SURNAME NAME_TESINA CULTURA E SORDITÀ. The file should be in pdf format and saved with the same words as the e-mail subject line.
Lectures and linguistic practices are directed to individuals and groups.
Videos and film excerpts will be offered.

Alternative programs can be agreed.

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: 19/06/2023