Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (36 hours)


Final Examination: 

Learning assessment consists of one oral exam at the end of the course.

The interview will be assessed according to the following criteria: (i) congruence of the response, (ii) organization of the discourse, (iii) ability for critical reasoning (iv) appropriate use of the technical-specialist terms of the discipline, (v) argumentative originality.

At the end of the task, students can decide whether to accept the grade or repeat the exam.

Voto Finale

The aim of the course is to examine the relationship of the Italian language with society and culture. Through the study of some theoretical approaches of Sociolinguistics, the course intends to provide the students with an interpretative key of the external (extra-linguistic) factors that determine the variation of language in the geographical space ('diatopia') and in the social and communicative space ('diastratia', 'diafasia' and 'diamesia').
On the basis of the four dimensions of the variation, the various types of Italian will be studied: standard Italian, neo-standard Italian, regional Italian (with some aspects of dialectology), popular Italian and subcodes of Italian. The study of these types of Italian will be related to a series of extra-linguistic variables: origin, social class, age, gender, profession, level of education, etc.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

• Understand the dimension of linguistic variation in both the spoken and written domain.
• Relate the language to the society and culture by which it is influenced.
• Identify the different registers and styles of communication in relation to different contexts.
• Appreciate linguistic diversity by recognizing its social and cultural value.
• Develop individual and group work and analysis skills.
• Develop critical thinking in the use of scientific bibliography, in the selection of paper and on-line sources, etc.

1. Aspects of sociolinguistic theory
• Linguistic change: endogenous and exogenous factors.
• Language vs dialect (= variety).
• Idiolect, sociolect, bilingualism, diglossia, alloglossia.

2. The dimensions of variation
• Diatopia (variation in relation to geography/origin).
• Diastratia (variation in relation to social variables).
• Diafasia (variation in relation to contexts of use).
• Diamesia (variation in relation to the means/channel of communication).

3. Types of Italian
• Regional and Popular Italian.
• Standard Italian
• Neo-standard Italian.

4. Language and sociolinguistic variables
• Language and gender.
• Language and level of education.
• Language and age.
• Micro-languages: jargons, slang, subcodes.

5. Language and context of use/means of communication
• Spoken Italian, written Italian, 'sent' Italian: registers and styles.
• The language of the mass media: television, radio, newspapers.
• The language of the social networks.

6. Language in contact
• Minority languages ​​in Italy.
• The Italian of emigrants.
• The Italian of immigrants.

Reference coursebook:
Berruto, G. (2012). Sociolinguistica dell’italiano contemporaneo. Roma: Carocci [New edition].

Bibliografia consigliata:
Andorno, C. e Chini, M. (2018). Repertori e usi linguistici nell'immigrazione. Una indagine su minori alloglotti dieci anni dopo. Milano: Franco Angeli Editore.
Antonelli, G. (2016). L'italiano nella società della comunicazione 2.0. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Berruto, G. e Cerruti, M (2019). Manuale di sociolinguistica. Torino: UTET [New edition].
Coates, J. (1998). Language and gender: a reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
Bombi, R. e F. Fusco (2004). Città plurilingui. Lingue e culture a confronto in situazioni urbane. Udine: Forum.
Cirillo, C. (2002). Sexism and gender issues in the Italian language. In A. L. Lepschy & A. Tosi (eds), Multilingualism in Italy: Past and Present. Oxford: Legenda, pp. 141-149.
Coveri, L., Benucci, A. e Diadori, P. (1998). Le varietà dell’italiano. Manuale di Sociolinguistica italiana. Siena: Bonacci.
D’Achille, P. (2003). L’italiano contemporaneo. Bologna: il Mulino.
D’Agostino, M. (2012). Sociolinguistica dell’Italia contemporanea. Bologna: il Mulino [New edition].
D’Agostino, M. (2005). Nuove condizioni linguistiche. Gli effetti dell’immigrazione. In F. Lo Piparo e G. Ruffino (eds). Gli italiani e la lingua. Palermo: Sellerio, pp. 70-92.
De Mauro, T. (1994). Come parlano gli italiani. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.
De Mauro, T. (1963). Storia linguistica dell'Italia unita. Bari: Laterza.
Eckert, P. and S. McConnell-Ginet (2003). Language and gender. Cambridge: Cambridge: University Press.
Formato, F. (2018). Gender, Discourse and Ideology in Italian. London: Palgrave.
Gheno, V. (2016). Social-linguistica. Italiano e italiani dei social network. Firenze: Franco Casati Editore.
Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lo Piparo, F. e Ruffino, G. (2005). Gli italiani e la lingua. Palermo: Sellerio.
Lorenzetti, L. e Schirru, G. (2006). La lingua italiana nei nuovi mezzi di comunicazione: SMS, posta elettronica e Internet. In Gensini, S. (eds) Fare comunicazione. Roma: carocci.
Luraghi, S. e Olita, A. (2006). Linguaggio e genere. Grammatica e usi. Roma: Carocci.
Orletti F. (2004). Scrittura e nuovi media. Roma: Carocci.
Pistolesi E. (2004). Il parlar spedito. L’italiano di chat, e-mail e sms. Padova: Esedra.
Pizzoli, L. (2018). La politica linguistica in Italia. Roma: Carocci.
Sabatini, F. (1999). “Rigidità-esplicitezza” vs “elasticità-implicitezza”: possibili parametri massimi per una tipologia dei testi. In G. Skytte & F. Sabatini (a cura di) Linguistica testuale comparativa. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, pp. 141-172.
Sobrero, A. (1993). Introduzione all’italiano contemporaneo. Le strutture. Roma-Bari: Laterza.
Sobrero, A. (1993). Introduzione all’italiano contemporaneo: la variazione e gli usi. Roma-Bari: Laterza.
Sornicola, R. (1981). Sul parlato. Bologna: il Mulino.
Toso, F. (2008). Le minoranze linguistiche in Italia. Bologna: il Mulino.


The lectures will take place in the classroom on a weekly basis and will be supported by slide shows (PowerPoint). At the end of the lesson, the slides will be available on the University's e-learning platform. Furthermore, on the e-learning platform students will find predefined folders in which supplementary and in-depth study materials will be available.

For each of the sections of the programme (1-6) there will be exercises, which will be assigned from time to time to the students and then checked by the teacher during the lesson. The exercises consist in the analysis of texts (including audio and video) and linguistic repertoires. Students should highlight the main sociolinguistic characteristics of the assigned texts. The discussions of the exercises will also be available on the e-learning platform in a dedicated folder.
Although the submission of the exercise papers is not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to regularly carry out the consolidation activities, which they can also send to the teacher for checking via e-mail.

Students are also invited to actively participate in the discussion of the topics of the course, both during the lesson and in the deferred debates (forums and chats of both platforms).

Students are invited to meet the teacher for any kind of question or doubt, but also for further study references and discussions.

Office hours:

• Wednesday, from 12:00 to 13:00;
• Thursday, from 10:00 to 11:00;
• by appointment (to be agreed via e-mail).

The meetings will take place at DiSUIT (Department of Human Sciences and Innovation for the Territory), at the following address:

Edificio Oriani, Via Marco Enrico Bossi 5, Como 22100
Room 3.1, third floor.