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ITA3230 - Italian Language and Society

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Not offered in 2007


This unit examines the Italian linguistic situation, with some historical background on pre-unification Italy, but with a focus on developments in the twentieth century. The most important features of the three main dialect areas (North, Centre and South) are analyzed, and the language-dialect continuum in the Italy of the 1990s is discussed. The unit also looks at the most important varieties of written standard Italian, such as the language of sports reports, of advertising, and of bureaucracy.


Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the nature and the characteristics of linguistic usage in present-day Italy (geographical, social, situational varieties).
  2. Understand the historical and social reasons for language variation in Italy.
  3. Have an initial idea of the main features of geographical varieties of Italian (dialects and italiani regionali) and of the social varieties (italiano popolare).
  4. Understand and analyse the distinctive features of some Italian written languages for special purposes (linguaggi settoriali).
In addition, third-year students are expected to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of both linguistic and social issues.


Examination (2 hours): 40%
2 assignments (1000 words each): 40%
3 Seminar participation tasks (200 words each): 20%
Third-year students will be invited to show a greater degree of theoretical reflexiveness in their work and appropriate use of critical material.

Contact hours

3 hours (2 hour lecture and 1 tutorial) per week