Academic year
2024/2025 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM5460 (AF:458539 AR:293095)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Consolidate advanced knowledge of minimalist syntax with particular regard to the microparametric and macroparametric comparative perspective. Enforce the capacity of crically reading current theoretical literature, formulate original hypotheses, collect data in support of a hypothesis, present original empirical observations and theoretical proposals in a research paper.
1. Knowledge and understanding
The student knows the minimalist framework and understands the literature that refers to it, with particular regard to the syntax of nominal expressions.
The student knows the main phenomena that arise across languages in the syntax of nominal expressions and understands divergences and convergences in macro/microvariation in familiar and unfamiliar languages.
The student knows the general syntax-semantics interaction and understands how it applies to the empirical domain of nominal expressions.
The student knows and understands the macrovariation among modern European languages, and/or languages belonging to different groups and families, and/or the microvariation among diachronic, dialectal, diastratic varieties of the same language with particular regard to indefinite nominal expressions.
The student has a full understanding of the technical terminology and annotation methodologies that permit to do research on languages of which she/he has no direct competence.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding
The student knows how to conduct a bibliographical search on an empirical domain, using web-resources such as catalogues (Cerca'; Opac; ecc.); and digital archives (Wos, Scopus, MLA International Bibliography, LLBA, Ebrary, Ebsco, etc).
The student knows how to select bibliographical resources, use them in a critical fashion, pointing out convergences and divergences between alternative hypotheses, spelling out empirical predictions and the contribution of each hypothesis to the understanding of the phenomenon, pointing out the empirical fieldwork needed to validate alternative hypotheses.
The student knows how to conduct fieldwork, with one or more of the following methodologies: create stimuli for data elicitation, collect grammaticality judgements, create on-line questionnaires, collect a corpus, consult existing corpora, collect data from reference grammars and language descriptions, etc.
The student knows how to analyse the collected data according to well-established methods in generative grammar.
The student knows how to annotate the data collected to make it accessible to the general scientific community.

3. Making judgements:
The student is able to formulate empirically and theoretically grounded original hypotheses, capturing the dialectal, diachronic, diastratic microvariation, or the macrovariation found across languages of different families and/or language groups.
The student is able to provide relevant linguistic data in favour of her/his hypothesis, to point out possible counterarguments and to treat them with independent hypotheses.
The student is able to capture points of divergence and convergence between alternative hypotheses and operate a synthesis of the two.

4. Communication skills. The student is able to
- write a paper with sound argumentation and appropriate terminology on an original phenomenon;
- keep their written contribution to the established limit (5000 words);
- write an informative abstract (500 words);
- provide 7-10 adequate keywords for the indexation of the contribution.

5. learning skills: The student is able to
- continue her/his empirical and theoretical research in the master thesis or in future PhD curriculum
- continue life-long education in support of any professional activity related to languages and language communication.
Basic knowledge of formal syntax, e.g. knowledge and capacities learnt in the general linguistics 2 course of the BA in LCLS
Nominal features and the categorial nature of determiners
Variation and Optionality.
Qualitative and Quantitative methods
The expression of indefiniteness in Romance languages
Zooming on indefinite determiners in Italian and Italo-Romance varieties
A protocol for indefiniteness
Weak interpretations in definite and indefinite DPs
A protocol for weak definite and indefinite DPs
Existential quantifiers and quantitative ne
A protocol for partitivity in Italian
The nature of di and ne in Italian and Catalan

Presentation of projects
The following papers by the instructor and collaborative authors will provide the content of the lessons. The student is required to start her/his bibliographical research from one of these papers, aiming at an updating of the state of the art and / or an interdisciplinary approach.

Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 1992. Partitive ne and the QP-hypothesis. A Case study. In E. Fava (ed.) Proceedings of the XVII Meeting of Generative Grammar. 121-141. Turin: Rosenberg & Sellier.
Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 2015a. Cartography and Optional Feature Realization in the Nominal Expression. U. Shlonsky (ed.) Beyond Functional Sequence. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol 10, 151-172. OUP.
Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 2015b. Il determinante indefinito: analisi sintattica e variazione diatopica. In Casini, S. et al. (eds) Plurilinguismo e Sintassi, Roma; Bulzoni, Atti SLI Siena, 27-29/09/2012. vol. 59, 451-466.
Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 2016. The syntax of the indefinite determiner dei in Italian. Lingua 181: 58-80. Indefinite determiners in two northern Italian dialects. Isogloss 8.2/8: 1-19
Cardinaletti, A. and Giusti, G. 2017. Quantified Expressions and Quantitative Clitics. In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition (eds M. Everaert and H.C. Riemsdijk).
Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 2018. Indefinite determiners. Variation and Optionality in Italoromance. In D’alessandro, R. & D. Pescarini (eds.) Advances in Italian Dialectology. Sketches of Italo-Romance Grammars, vol. 1, 135-161. Amsterdam: Brill.
Cardinaletti, A. & Giusti, G. 2020. Indefinite determiners in informal Italian: A preliminary analysis. Linguistics 58.
Giusti, G. 1997. The Categorial Status of Determiners. In Haegeman L. (ed.) The New Comparative Syntax, 95-123. London: Longman.
Giusti, G. 2002. The Functional Structure of Determiners. A Bare Phrase Structure Approach. In Cinque (ed.) The Cartography of Syntactic Structure, vol 1. 54-90. Oxford / New York, Oxford University Press.
Giusti, G. 2015. Nominal Syntax at the Interfaces, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.
Giusti, G. 2021a. A protocol for indefinite determiner in Italian and Italoromance. in Ihsane, T. (ed.) Bare nouns vs. ‘partitive articles’: disentangling functions. Leiden/Boston: Brill, Syntax and Semantics.
Giusti, G. 2021b. Partitivity in Italian. A protocol Approach to a tripartite phenomenon. In Giusti, G. and P. Sleeman (eds) to appear Partitive Determiners, Partitive Pronouns and Partitive Case. Linguistische Arbeiten, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter
Lebani., G. & G. Giusti. 2022. Indefinite determiners in two northern Italian dialects. A quantitative approach. Isogloss 8.2.
term paper on an original topic drafted under the supervision of the instructor to be presented and motivated in the oral exam giving evidence of the capacity of plication of the knowledge and understanding acquired in the course
Lectures, students' presentations, virtual classroom.
Students are warmly invited to the research seminars in Linguistics.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 11/03/2024