History of the Italian Language

Academic year
Subject Area
Italian Linguistics
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Italian knowledge equivalent to the B1 level of the CEFRL. 

Teaching Methods

Teaching will be based on: theoretical exposition, analysis of texts by the professor, viewing of framing materials; analysis of texts from different periods, geographical origins and levels, guided management of platforms; individual or group practical work, under the guidance of the professor; presentation exercises, summary and commentary of texts.

Learning Outcomes

- To have solid and grounded knowledge about the linguistic evolution of Latin for the various Italian speakers; the successive evolution until the Unification of Italy.

- Identify and interpret the factors concerning the formation of the politically unified Italy language and its evolution into contemporary times.

- Distinguish in its global configuration the linguistic variation along that diachronic path, as well as in its diatopic valences.

Work Placement(s)



Linguistic variation in the Roman Empire and vulgar Latin. From Latin to Italian: phonetics, morphology, lexicon, syntax. Migrations: German, Arab and Byzantine influx. The first documents in common italics. Formation and diffusion of Italian: practical uses, religious and profane lyrics Medieval polycentrism. The Tuscan Trecento: Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio. Characteristics of the common “Fiorentino” (anaphonesis, diphthongation, etc.). The “questione della lingua” and the Tuscan standard. “Fiorentino argenteo”, “italianisti” and courtesan language. The language of science and the philosophy of language. Language, theater and "melodramma". Purists and anti-purists. Manzoni's linguistic proposal. The first dictionaries. Linguistic unification factors. Italian and dialects. Regional Italian and “special languages”.

Head Lecturer(s)

Martina Matozzi

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous assessment
Synthesis work: 20.0%
Frequency: 80.0%


- Texto de referência

Serianni, L.; Antonelli, G. (2017). Manuale di linguistica italiana. Storia, attualità, grammatica. Torino: Pearson.

- Textos de apoio

Dardano, M. (2011). La lingua della Nazione. Bari: Laterza.

Marazzini, C. (2006). La storia della lingua italiana attraverso i testi. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Marnoto, R. (2011). O italiano, uma língua para a Itália unida. In R. Marnoto (Ed.), Causa pública (23-45). Coimbra: Instituto de Estudos Italianos da FLUC, IUC.

Patota, G. (2007). Nuovi lineamenti di grammatica storica dell’italiano. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Scarpa, R. (2012). La questione della lingua. Antologia di testi da Dante a oggi. Roma: Carocci.

- Dicionários

De Mauro, T. (2003) (Dir.). Gradit. Grande dizionario italiano dell’uso. 6 vols. Torino: UTET.

Cortelazzo, Manlio; Cortelazzo, Michele (1999). Dizionario etimologico. Bologna: Zanichelli.

Lessicografia della Crusca: http://www.lessicografia.it/

Tommaseo-Bellini: http://www.tommaseobellini.it (consultados a 30-06-20).