28862 - Italian Language and Culture (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2016/2017

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to discuss about the relation among language, literature and anthropology and among linguistic, literary and anthropological knowledge. They will be able to “perceive” language in the reading process. They will be able to read consciously literary texts and essays.


Course contents

Italian culture through texts

Ideas and instruments
- Interdependence between thoughts and language
- Relation between language and culture
- Italian: language and identity
- Principles and methods of text analysis: text linguistics
- Methods of quantitative text analysis

Case studies in between the past and the present
- Popular literature
- Children’s literature
- Italian in diaries
- Texts produced by half-literates
- Italian in the cultural industry (fashion, show business,  film-making, television, journalism)
- Social uses of Italian (politics, bureaucracy, religion)



1. Material available on the e-learning platform of the course.
2. Bruno Migliorini, Lingua e cultura, Roma, Tumminelli, 1948 (only the first two essays: Storia della lingua e storia della cultura e Correnti dotte e correnti popolari nella lingua italiana, pp. 9-46).
3. Massimo Palermo, Linguistica testuale dell'italiano, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013.
4. Pietro Trifone (a cura di), Lingua e identità. Una storia sociale dell'italiano, Roma, Carocci, 2009 (2nd Edition).
5. Laura Ricci, Paraletteratura. Lingua e stile dei generi di consumo, Roma, Carocci, 2013.
6. Storia dell’italiano scritto. III. Italiano dell’uso, edited by Giuseppe Antonelli, Matteo Motolese and Lorenzo Tomasin, Roma, Carocci, 2014 (the essays of Alessio Ricci, Libri di famiglia e diari, pp. 159-194; Rita Fresu, Scritture dei semicolti, pp. 195-224; Francesca Gatta, Giornalismo, pp. 293-347).

Non-attending students must complement the programme in place of point 1 with:
A) Luca Serianni, Parola, Bologna, il Mulino, 2016.
B) Enrico Testa, L'italiano nascosto. Una storia linguistica e culturale, Torino, Einaudi, 2014.


Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars and workshops.


Assessment methods

The exam consists in a written test which differs depending on students having attended the course or not. It is composed of 5 open questions on the course subjects: 2 questions are rather general in nature and require articulated answers (max. 10 points each); 3 questions are more specific and entail concise answers (max 4 points each). Some questions aim at assessing the students’ knowledge of the course content and refer to the texts indicated in the programme; others focus on the students’ ability to apply the acquired knowledge to specific cases of textual analysis related to the course subjects.

The final mark (based on a 30-point scale) is the sum of the points obtained for each answer (31 and 32 correspond to full marks "cum-laude"). The assessment is based on the students’ competence and ability to offer a critical exposition of the course subjects, on the use of specific language and on the text correctness, clarity and conciseness.


Teaching tools

Students who regularly attend the lessons can use the reference material provided online. In particular, an up-to-date calendar of the classes and an e-learning platform reserved to attending students.



Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Matteo Viale