L-FIL-LET/12 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

a) To acquire the basic notions of sociolinguistics.

b) To develop students’ ability to reflect upon the variability of the Italian language in correlation with: communicative situation, geographical area, speaker’s gender, age and level of education; written or spoken channel.
To acquire the main techniques of sociolinguistic research by carrying out some fieldwork.

c) To develop students’ awareness of the communicative potentiality of using Italian, dialect and other languages in conversation and in the internet (code switching and polylanguaging).

Course Structure

The course is structured in dialogical and frontal lectures, individual and group exercises, self-evaluative reflections concerning the several contents dealt with.

Detailed Course Content

A) Definition of Sociolinguistics (2 ects): scope, postulates and methods; linguistic repertoire and community; communicative situation and competence; social class, group and social network; types of linguistic varieties; standard language and dialect; linguistic prestige; opinions and attitudes, diglossia and dilalia; sociolinguistic variable.

B) The sociolinguistic repertoire of contemporary Italy (5 ects): techniques of sociolinguistic research; the sociolinguistic situation in contemporary Italy: Italian, dialects, and minority languages; historical development of the use of Italian and dialects; the “architecture” of Italian; restandardisation: literary standard and neostandard; diatopic varieties: Regional Italian; diaphasic varieties: registers and language for specific purposes; diamesic varieties: written and spoken Italian; diastratic varieties: “italiano popolare”.

C) Communicative strategies (2 ects): code switching and polylanguaging. Definition and functions.

Textbook Information


- Berruto Gaetano, Prima lezione di sociolinguistica, Bari, Laterza, 2006 (189 pp.)


- D’Agostino Mari, Sociolinguistica dell’Italia contemporanea, Il Mulino 2007:

Chapter I: Storie (pp. 13-22),

Chapter 3: L’Italia contemporanea, pp. 51-66.

Chapter 11: Progettare una ricerca, pp. 215-235.

- Berruto Gaetano, Sociolinguistica dell’italiano contemporaneo, Roma, Carocci, (ristampa aggiornata) 2012 updated reprint (280 pp.) (except Chapter 5)


- Alfonzetti, Giovanna, Parlare italiano e dialetto in Sicilia, Palermo, Centro di Studi Filologici e Linguistici siciliani 2017 (100 pp.)

The scheme of all lectures and other materials will be found on STUDIUM

Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano