The course only presupposes the knowledge of general linguistics that the students acquired during their Bachelor’s degree.
The course has two different aims: to teach the primary principles of lexical theory, which is essential in order to develop a critical approach towards the lexicon of a foreign language and to stimulate students to reflect on important general issues concerning the question of the relationship between language and thought.
Course contents summary
Semantics and lexicology - 6 credits
The Course starts with a description of some important topics that constitute the basis for the research work in semantics: sense ≈ reference, semantics ≈ pragmatics, linguistic acts. After that, an overview of the concept of meaning in various linguistic theories - from structuralism to cognitive linguistics, will be presented.
The course ends with the analysis of various lexicologic theories and focuses in particular on the theory of semantic fields and the cognitive psychology pattern.
Ježek E., Lessico, publisher "Il Mulino".
The topics of the course are presented in 15 lessons lasting two hours each, with the use of a blackboard in order to enable a visualization of the patterns and the analyses described.
At the end of each lesson the lecturer will arrange a consulting hour in his office in order to give the students the chance to receive explanations about the topics discussed during the lessons and the readings to prepare for the exam.
There will also be three seminars of two hours each, where some brief texts in English concerning the subject, that the students are expected to read before the meetings, will be analyzed.
Assessment methods and criteria
The examination will consist in a single exam at the end of the course. The exam is oral and it consists of three questions, one of which is related to the bibliography of the exam.
During the exam the student’s knowledge about the subject and his/her conversational and reasoning skills will be assessed.