This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course will introduce you to the main aspects of the history of the Italian language from its Latin roots to the present age, focusing particularly on the so-called questione della lingua in the sixteenth century. The course will give you the instruments to appreciate the nature and origins of Italy’s linguistic fragmentation, and to understand, with reference to textual evidence, the complex processes by which one of the dialectal variants (Tuscan, and more specifically Florentine) rose to pre-eminence as a literary, scientific and administrative language, and subsequently to establish itself as the common language of the Italian people.
Note: This course will be conducted entirely in Italian.
The course involves studying a range of texts which will be read, analyzed, and placed in your historical background through the examination of the language peculiarities.
By the end of this course, you will:
- Have analyzed important Italian documents and literary texts from the Middle Ages until recent times;
- Have examined the beginnings of the Italian language in relation to other emerging languages (French, German);
- Have a sufficient appreciation of how a language changes and when linguistic change can be considered to be its own language;
- Have studied the particular debate over what exactly the Italian language “should” be like from Dante until recent times.
- Claudio Marazzini. La lingua italiana: Storia, testi, strumenti (seconda edizione). Bologna: Il mulino, 2015.
- Handouts of selected literary texts