Students and Alumni

The Programme welcomes Italian and international students. At the moment, our DiLLeS has 35 active PhD students, with 6 of them being tutored jointly with other European Universities.

First-Year Students


Elena Bastianoni

This research intends to explore some of the most significant representations of pandemics in Anglophone literature, ranging from the Nineteenth Century to the present time. By considering Assmann’s concept of cultural memory and the importance of digital humanities in the process of coping with the crisis caused by the pandemic, the project aims at investigating how the literatures of the Anglophone world have represented historical and imaginary epidemics, playing a vital role in preserving the cultural heritage. In this sense, the project will contribute to memory studies by creating an interactive and digitalized Atlas of the Pandemic. By carrying out an accurate analysis of some works by Margaret Atwood, Meg Mundell and Emma Donoghue, namely The Year of the Flood, The Trespassers and The Pull of the Stars, we will try to use Anglophone pandemic literature as a privileged point of view from which to study the long-debated connection between damaged ecology and epidemics, with a special attention to Ecocriticism and the genre of dystopian fiction. Finally, by drawing on the notions of trauma and psychophysical healing, the project will investigate the role of Anglophone pandemic literature as a powerful means of providing awareness of the trauma inflicted by the pandemic experience and offering practical solutions in moments of crisis, promoting the importance of solidarity and an attitude of respect towards the environment and choosing a peaceful coexistence between the living beings who inhabit the earth.

Supervisors: prof. Biancamaria Rizzardi, prof. Fausto Ciompi

Angel Antonio De Oliveira Amata
Reimagining Literature: A Comparative Analysis of Novels and Graphic Novels.

The aim of this project is to analyse a selection of texts from 19th-century English literature through the graphic novel medium. This project, located at the crossroads of narratology, adaptation studies, and comics studies, intends to draw attention on the strong connection between the literary world and its graphic counterpart, from early 20th-century Modernist influences to contemporary transmedia storytelling. This study will focus on different aspects of literary criticism and textual analysis: firstly, it will tackle theoretical — semiotic and narratological — issues connected with the passage from the linguistic medium to such a hybrid product as the graphic novel, in which different semiotic systems are blended; on the other hand, it will take into account the broader cultural implications inherent in the appropriation of literary classics — canonical texts belonging to traditional highbrow culture — by a genre typically associated with popular culture, a field that has gained more and more attention in the contemporary critical debate, from Umberto Eco’s pronouncements to the achievements of cultural studies.

Supervisors: Prof. Roberta Ferrari, Prof. Sara Soncini.

Alessia Guidi

The aim of this research is to carry out an analysis of the literary strategies and symbolical and archetypal elements of science fiction and dystopian narrative in contemporary Anglo-American literature. My study will start by highlighting the levels of construction of fictional worlds and how humans relate to these alternative versions of reality. It will subsequently focus on a number of novels which have not yet been fully investigated from this specific perspective. Light will be shed on the ways characters’ attitudes and points of view encourage the reader to reflect on the epistemological and ontological structures of different universes, including the one he/she lives in. By adopting a Junghian approach and the interpretative paradigms of Women’s Studies, I will single out the peculiar traits of the female protagonists in their contextual dimension. In essence, my research concentrates on the potential and critical value of the science fiction genre as revisited by contemporary female writers.

Supervisors: prof. Laura Giovannelli, prof. Simona Beccone

Andrea Lupi
“You must not deny the body”: Corporeal Encounters in T. S. Eliot’s Writings

The current research project seeks to examine the relevance of the corporeal sphere and its interaction with the world at the core of T. S. Eliot’s works, including his poetry, plays, and criticism. By closely reading a selection of primary texts along with secondary literature, this doctoral research posits the deep entanglements between corporeality and literature in modernism, and most specifically in Eliot, as explored in critical and aesthetic terms. Relying on the notion of the body as performative and interrelational, I will contribute to the on-going reassessment of Eliot’s oeuvre, rendering a further level of significance, so far only partially recognised by critics, and shedding light on the complexity and plurality of experiences and issues mediated by the body – e.g. epistemology, gender and sexuality, the relationship with the non-human. It will be hence questioned how Eliot engages with corporeality in his works, what his philosophical, critical, and aesthetic understanding of the body-world relationship is, and in what ways he interacts with his contemporaries’ theories and achievements around the nature and workings of the body.

Supervisors: prof. Laura Giovannelli, prof. Fausto Ciompi

Caterina Russo
The exile in Spanish literature of the Golden Age

The research project intends to offer a study on exile in the literary production of the Spanish Golden Age, about the category of destierro. Firstly, exile is defined as a literary theme, starting from the tools provided by thematic criticism. Then, a series of categories useful for the critical analysis of the literary cases. Finally, the textual corpus is presented, indicating the expected results of its analysis in a thematic key. Respect to the subject, the term destierro (deprivation of land, as shown by the suffix des-), refers to the legal institution, which provided for a spatial removal from the place of residence, to restore the balance of power. Currently, there is a lack of a thematic study related to this modality of the theme. Therefore, in this research, I will try to offer a critical analysis of the philological-literary aspects, but from a global and transversal perspective that can touch on different fields of research (for example, sociocultural or political-philosophical issues).

Supervisors: prof. Enrico Di Pastena, prof. Federica Cappelli


Paola Esposito
Future between temporality and modality: the paths of diachronic typology

This project proposes an analysis of the grammaticalization of the future morphology in Classical Arabic and in some Arabic varieties spoken in Maghreb from the perspective of diachronic typology. In the face of the grammaticalization processes currently identified in this field of study, the following research project will explore the possible existence of alternative paths, with particular attention to the lexical sources out of which future morphemes can develop. For this purpose, this study will provide for an enlargement of the database both on the diatopic and diachronic axis, by means of the inclusion of varieties generally underrepresented in typological studies on this subject. In pursuing this goal, the focus will be on the modal functions which can be encoded by the future morphemes: these functions give fundamental information to shed light not only on the mechanisms of semantic change involved in the development of future values, but also on the nature of this ambiguous linguistic category.

Supervisors: prof. Francesco Rovai, prof. Daniele Mascitelli

Agnese Lombardi
Neural language model enriched with lexical semantics and cognitive implications

This project aims to create a Neural Language Model (NLM) based on Transformer, built combining the semantic representations automatically extracted from the texts (contextualized embedding abstracting the entire sentence) with the graphs containing the lexical semantic information, to obtain enriched semantic representations. The lexical semantic knowledge is represented with a graph that extracts the information from parsed corpora, using syntactic relations as an approximation of defined lexical semantics. The hypothesis is that the use of enriched semantic representations improves the performance of the model, specifically in the processing of tasks that require complex semantic composition. Once pretrained, the model might be fine-tuned to process real-word tasks. In a second step, the model will be evaluated on the processing of linguistic tasks, also in comparison to the performance of human subject on the same tasks. The project aims to contribute to the state of art on three perspectives. First, the computational perspective, improving the semantic compositionality of NLM. The second is the bare theoretical linguistic one, because it clarifies how speakers process lexical semantics properties and how they interact with each other. The last one is the cognitive one: considering the comparison between the results of the model and those of the speakers, can the NLM be considered also a cognitive model of language processing?

Supervisors: prof. Alessandro Lenci, prof. Domenica Romagno

Second-Year Students


Dott. Pierpaolo Amenta;
Traduire le Maroc littéraire d’expression française entre XXème et XXIème siècle : Elisa Chimenti, Driss Chraïbi et Mahi Binebine. Pour une étude de l’hétérolinguisme et de la phraséologie transculturelle.

Ce projet de recherche vise à mettre en évidence les modalités par lesquelles, dans le processus de traduction, l’hétérolinguisme et le contact de langues et cultures engendrent un enrichissement linguistique et culturel dans l’idiome d’accueil, notamment en italien mais à l’aide de la comparaison avec l’espagnol et l’anglais.
L’objet de notre étude est un corpus portant sur l’écriture de certains écrivains dont les œuvres font partie de la production littéraire marocaine d’expression française. Le corpus se compose de trois auteur·e·s appartenant à trois générations différentes : Elisa Chimenti (1883-1969), Driss Chraïbi (1926-2007) et Mahi Binebine (1959- ), et sera étudié dans une perspective essentiellement traductologique et intrinsèquement transdisciplinaire, puisant dans la littérature comparée différentielle, dans la sociolinguistique du contact et dans la phraséologie. Il s’agira, de ce fait, de sonder en diachronie, à l’aide de la comparaison et, dans certains cas spécifiques, de la génétique des textes et des traductions, la manière dont des passages hétérolingues ont été textualisés et, ensuite, traduits dans les autres langues de réception, en accordant une attention particulière aux insertions lexicales et aux phraséologismes témoignant de la cohabitation de langues et cultures. Lorsque cela sera possible, nous essaierons d’évaluer la possibilité de prendre en compte dans la traduction italienne les altérités linguistiques et culturelles restées piégées dans le texte source.

Our research aims to highlight the modalities by which, in the translation process, heterolingualism and contact between languages and cultures generate linguistic cultural enrichment in the host idiom, particularly in Italian, through comparison in Spanish and English.
The object of this study is a corpus dealing with the writing of French-speaking Moroccan writers whose works pertain to Moroccan literature in French. The corpus includes three authors belonging to three different generations: Elisa Chimenti (1883-1969), Driss Chraïbi (1926-2007) and Mahi Binebine (1959- ), and it will be studied from a translatological and inherently transdisciplinary perspective drawing mainly on ‘differential’ Comparative Literature, Sociolinguistics of languages in contact and Phraseology. It will therefore be a question of probing, using the methods of comparison and, in some cases, of the genetics of translations, the way in which heterolingual texts have been textualised and, subsequently, translated into the other receiving languages, paying particular attention to lexical inserts and transcultural phraseological units. Where possible, we will try to assess the possibility of considering in the Italian translation the linguistic and cultural alterities that have remained trapped in the source text.

Supervisor: Prof. Antonietta Sanna – Pisa

Alessio Baldini
The prose poem and the press in France from 1842 to 1900


This research aims to study the forms and the evolutions of the prose poem in France within the literary and the general press from 1842 to 1900. A genre whose definition remains arduous and dubious, the prose poem proves to be the symptom of the new scriptural practices in vogue since the second half of the 19th century. It is commonly known that in this period the press rose significantly, and, at the same time, that the prose poem is a symptomatic part of the huge success of reviews and newspapers. Adhering to the philological method, we would thus like to take an overall look at the objects (themes) and at the subjects (authors) of the prose poem. The period we will be paying attention to is from 1842, the year in which Gaspard de la Nuit by Aloysius Bertrand was published, to 1900, the year of the publication of Connaissance de l’Est by Paul Claudel, the final step of the genre’s constitution. Our Ph.D project, written in French, will thus seek to reconstruct the history of the prose poem by following a double critical approach: on the one hand, considering the role of the press, small and large, on the prose poem; on the other hand, the formal study of a composite textual corpus enriched with poems remaining unpublished.

Le poème en prose et la presse en France de 1842 à 1900 

Notre recherche se propose d’étudier les formes et les évolutions du poème en prose en France à travers l’analyse de journaux et de revues de 1842 à la fin du siècle. Genre dont la définition se maintient complexe et controversée, le poème en prose s’avère le symptôme de nouvelles pratiques scripturaires en vogue vers le milieu du XIXe siècle avec l’avènement de la presse à grand tirage. Il est notoire que les périodiques connaissent en cette époque un essor remarquable et, conjointement, que le poème en prose acquiert ses lettres de noblesse par la floraison de revues et de journaux dont témoigne la seconde moitié du siècle. Notre thèse souhaiterait donc porter un regard d’ensemble, dans la perspective philologique de l’histoire littéraire, sur les objets (les thèmes) et sur les sujets (les auteurs) du poème en prose, entre 1842, année de la parution posthume du recueil novateur qu’est le Gaspard de la Nuit d’Aloysius Bertrand ; et 1900, année où paraît Connaissance de l’Est de Paul Claudel. Notre étude cherchera ainsi à reconstruire l’histoire du poème en prose dans une double démarche critique : d’une part, la prise en compte du rôle de la presse, petite et grande, sur le poème en prose ; d’autre part, l’étude formelle d’un corpustextuel enrichi de poèmes demeurant inédits.

Supervisor: Prof. Gianni Iotti – Pisa

Andrea Bianchini

Deseja-se Mulher + S.O.S. = El Uno. The Luso-Spanish theatre of Almada Negreiros, between self-translation and authorial philology.

My PhD project aims to reconstruct the filiation of the theatrical texts in which Almada Negreiros gave shape to the reflections on the concepts of “single direction” and “tragedy of unity”. The author, after a five-years period in Madrid (1927-1932), returns to Lisbon with a lot of material from a work that he would never publish: El Uno, Tragedia documental de la colectividad y el individuo, written in Castilian (with Portuguese inserts). All this unpublished material contributes to – and underlies – two plays published in Portuguese, Deseja-se Mulher (1959) e S.O.S. (1935). My research would focus precisely on that “underlies”, given that studies carried out to date do not unanimously establish which of the three works was written first, nor in which original language. I will, therefore, attempt to propose the constitutio textus of El Uno and I will investigate the way in which the author worked the language(s) through the processes of self-translation and code switching.

Deseja-se Mulher + S.O.S. = El Uno. O teatro luso-espanhol de Almada Negreiros, entre autotradução e filologia de autor.

O meu projeto para o doutoramento propõe reconstruir a filiação dos textos teatrais onde o autor mais representativo do século XX português, Almada Negreiros, deu forma às reflexões sobre o conceito de “direcção única” e sobre a “tragedia da unidade”. Almada vai a Madrid em 1927 e aí fica até 1932; quando regressa a Lisboa, traz consigo uma bagagem de folhas, cadernos, apontamentos e versões de uma obra que nunca publicará: El Uno, Tragedia documental de la colectividad y el individuo, escrita em castelhano (com inserções em português). Desta obra, sobra muito material inédito que concorre – e subjaz – à elaboração de duas obras publicadas em português: Deseja-se Mulher (1959) e S.O.S. (1935). A minha investigação versaria sobre esse “subjaz”, dado que alguns estudiosos almadianos, apesar de terem investigado esses materiais, não apresentaram uma reflexão definitiva relativamente a qual das três obras (ou quatro se considerarmos também Protagonistas) foi escrita antes, nem em que língua original. Para isso, proponho dedicar-me à constitutio textus de El Uno, estudando e “desembrulhando” todos os escritos nas suas várias fases de redação, colacionando as variantes encontradas no arquivo do autor, e tentando investigar sobre a maneira como Almada trabalhava a(s) língua(s), através processos de autotradução e de “code switching”.

Supervisor: Prof.ssa Valeria Tocco – Pisa

Sara Manzi;
Il canto della poesia rock in Unione Sovietica [L-LIN/21]

This study aims to analyse the typological elements of the “sung” texts in late Soviet culture, especially concerning the beginnings of rock poetry in the 1980s. The reflection will involve a selection of authors of the time, including Aleksandr Bashlachev, Egor Letov and Ianka Diagileva. These independent voices represent an original and non-conformist artistic phenomenon that developed in the cultural context of the Soviet underground. Rock poetry should not be understood as political protest or rebellion against the system, as it has often been configured in its Western narratives. The instances of Soviet rock poets often transcend the dissident political level, to take shape as a free artistic expression capable of recovering the deepest instances of literary tradition and popular culture. The present investigation intends to contribute to the systematic mapping of the phenomenon, constituting an integral part of the research project “Free voices in the USSR” (1953-1991), developed by the University of Pisa in synergy with the University of Florence and with the involvement of international institutes and researchers. With the editorial support of Firenze University Press, part of the activity will be devoted to the implementation and digital publication of the research results.

Данное исследование направлено на анализ типологических элементов рок-поэзии, как поэзии напевного строя в поздней советской культуре, с особым упором на начало рок-поэзии в восьмидесятых годах. Размышление будет касаться выбора авторов того времени, в том числе Александра Башлачева, Егора Летова и Янки Дягилевой. Эти независимые голоса представляют собой оригинальный нонконформистский художественный феномен, развивавшийся в культурном контексте советского подполья. Рок-поэзию не следует понимать как политический протест или восстание против системы, как это часто было в его западных представлениях. Искусство советских рок-поэтов часто выходит за рамки диссидентского политического плана, чтобы быть свободным художественным выражением, способным восстановить самые глубокие образцы литературной традиции и народной культуры. Целью данной работы является внесение своего вклада в систематическое изучение этого культурного пласта как неотъемлемой части научно-исследовательского проекта “Свободные Голоса в СССР” (1953-1991), разработанный в Университете Пизы в сотрудничестве с Университетом Флоренции, с привлечением международных институтов и исследователей. Используя редакционную поддержку Firenze University Press, часть деятельности будет направлена на создание и цифровую публикацию результатов исследований. 

Cecilia Martino
For a Linguistic Analysis of the Poetic Text: M. V. Panov’s Approach in the Context of Russian Literary Studies of the Late 20th Century.

The current project aims at investigating M. V. Panov’s (1920-2001) scientific production and theoretical views in the field of literary studies. Having been one of the leading voices in the area of Soviet linguistics, the scholar covered, with his versatile research, the major branches of this discipline; in doing so, he also managed to incorporate in his field of investigation that specific linguistic area in which language takes on an “aesthetic function” and serves as the material of verbal art. Particular attention will be paid to the model of analysis of the poetic text that the scholar developed in his works on the Russian poetry of the XVIII-XX centuries. Such model will be then compared with additional approaches of analysis, which were promoted by some of the most prominent figures who operated, as well as M. V. Panov, in the field of literary studies, between the 60s and 80s, in the period of the rebirth of linguistic and structuralist research, which was built on the heritage of Russian Formalism (V. Vinogradov, Yu. Lotman, B. Uspensky, L. Ginzburg, M. Gasparov). By continuing to pursue the specific line of research on “the literary fact”, that gives relevance to its structural and linguistic aspects, the project intends to offer further points of reference, along with some investigation tools, which will be useful for acquiring a more specific and conscious insight into the literary work.

К лингвистическому анализу поэтического текста: модель М. В. Панова в контексте советского литературоведения второй половины XX века

Данный проект имеет своей целью рассмотреть литературоведческое наследие и литературные воззрения Михаила Викторовича Панова (1920-2001). Будучи одним из крупнейших российских языковедов ХХ века, он стал специалистом в самых различных областях лингвистики, включая сюда и поэтику и продолжая в этом отношении научную традицию ОПОЯЗа. Особое внимание будет уделено изучению разработанной ученым модели анализа поэтического текста, представленной в его лекциях по истории русской поэзии XVIII-XX вв. Пановская модель станет объектом сравнительного анализа с другими методами изучения поэтического произведения, применяемыми во второй половине прошлого столетия, в период расцвета структурно-семиотических исследований, такими советскими литературоведами, как В. Виноградов, Ю. Лотман, Б. Успенский, Л. Гинзбург и М. Гаспаров. Продолжая изучение тех литературоведческих направлений, которые придают особое значение текстовому моменту и лингвистической сущности «литературного факта», мы намереваемся расширить ориентиры и инструменты, необходимые для освоения более специфического и сознательного отношения к литературному произведению.

Supervisor: Prof. Marco Sabbatini – Pisa

Dott.ssa Roberta Narcisi

Cuerpos ausentes que vuelven de la llanura: análisis comparativo de obras teatrales sobre la desaparición forzada en los países hispanos durante los siglos XX y XXI

The research project aims to analyse a selection of theatrical works produced during and after the severe periods of  violence within the 20th and 21st century in Spain, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, and in which the main theme represented is enforced disappearance, a violent and illegal practice recurring in the mentioned period and countries. The main objective is to analyse, through a comparative approach, the main strategies employed by playwrights in representing and emphasizing situations related to political violence, trauma, and the absence of the victims, and often concealed by official discourses. Given the complexity of the theme, various critical perspectives will be adopted and different methodological tools combined. A first contextual analysis of the main historical-political and cultural events will be carried out to differentiate the expressions of political violence and enforced disappearance and subsequently frame the various aesthetic and theatrical orientations. The critical-cultural perspective of Trauma Studies and the recent studies on memory and post-memory will be applied to the various dramaturgical contexts with the aim of examining the militant function of theatre in the transcoding of this traumatic experience and the intergenerational communication in the countries of interest. The first part of the research will be necessary to develop the analysis of the selected works within a general theatrical panorama. A double methodology will be adopted: a textual and dramaturgical analysis and a critical-comparative analysis with the aim of highlighting the specific thematic lines and stylistic choices employed by playwrights of various generations who, in different contexts, worked on a common and critical theme.

El proyecto de investigación se propone analizar una selección de obras teatrales producidas durante y después de los graves períodos de violencia a lo largo de  los siglos XX y XXI en España, Colombia, El Salvador, México, Bolivia, Chile y Argentina, y en que se representa el tema de la desaparición forzada de personas, práctica violenta e ilegal recurrente en el período y en los países indicados. El objetivo principal es analizar, a través de un enfoque comparativo, las principales estrategias empleadas por los dramaturgos para representar y resaltar situaciones relacionadas con la violencia política, el trauma y la ausencia de las víctimas y generalmente ocultadas por los discursos oficiales. Dada la complejidad del tema elegido, se adoptarán varias perspectivas críticas y combinarán diferentes herramientas metodológicas. Inicialmente, se llevará a cabo un análisis contextual de los principales acontecimientos histórico-políticos y culturales, necesario para diferenciar las acepciones de violencia política y desaparición forzada y posteriormente enmarcar las direcciones teatrales y estéticas. La perspectiva crítico-cultural de los Trauma studies y los estudios recientes sobre memoria y posmemoria se aplicarán a los diversos contextos dramatúrgicos con el objetivo de examinar la función militante del teatro en la transcodificación de esta experiencia traumática y la comunicación intergeneracional en los países de interés. La primera parte de la investigación será necesaria para desarrollar el análisis de las obras seleccionadas dentro de un panorama teatral general. Se adoptará una doble metodología: un análisis textual y dramatúrgico y un análisis crítico-comparativo, con el objetivo de destacar las líneas temáticas específicas y las elecciones estilísticas empleadas por dramaturgos de varias generaciones que, en diferentes contextos, han trabajado sobre un complejo tema en común.

Supervisor: Prof. Enrico Di Pastena – Pisa

Lorenzo Santi
Traits and phenomenologies of dystopian-speculative fiction in South Africa, from the apartheid years to the post-millennium.

The aim of this research is to carry out an analysis of the features, evolution and purposes of dystopian-speculative fiction in South African literature written in English from the years of the apartheid regime (1948-1990) to our age. This study will start by systematically highlighting themes, strategies and stylistic traits connected with the genre; it will subsequently focus on a number of novels which have not yet been fully investigated from the perspective of utopian/dystopian, speculative or apocalyptic writing. Light will therefore be shed on the ways and extent to which South African authors from various ethnic groups have succeeded in creating path-breaking works by building on the link between the politics of fiction and their coeval historical context. By appropriating and revisiting a western genre such as dystopian and speculative writing, these authors can be seen to enter a postcolonial, globalized field fully armed with an urgent and powerful message to be conveyed across their country and the world.

Supervisor: Prof. Laura Giovannelli – Pisa


Serena Auriemma
Semantic applications for the analysis of Public Administration documents with Computational Linguistics techniques based on Neural Language Models


This research project aims to create a Neural Language Model based on Transformer and specialized in the semantic analysis of the Public Administration documents. For the construction of the Language Model, Deep Learning algorithms applied on domain corpora will be used, which will allow the model to learn, through an initial unsupervised training phase, a semantic-probabilistic knowledge of the language. Thanks to the compatibility of the Transformer with transfer learning methods, such as, for example, fine-tuning or few-shot learning, the linguistic competence achieved by the pre-trained model will be specialized and reused for different types of NLP task (i.e. Question Answering, Named Entity Recognition, Topic Modeling, Document Classification, etc.). During this second phase of supervised training, annotated data and linguistic resources created specifically for the training of the model will be employed. Finally, the accuracy of the model will be assessed for each task in which the model has been previously trained. The final aim of the project will be the integration of the LM in a document management system for the Public Administration, realized in collaboration with the company 01Semplice Srl, to facilitate the digital transition process undertaken by the Italian PA entities in recent years.

Supervisor: Prof. Alessandro Lenci (Pisa)

Giuditta Avano

Dialectal acquisition and attrition in the context of regional varieties of Italian: studies on Gorgia Toscana and Gorgia Enfatica

This sociophonetic study aims to observe the phenomena of attrition and acquisition of phonetic features due to contact between two varieties of the same language, observing the acquisition and attrition of two typical traits of Tuscan regional Italian: Gorgia Toscana (GT) and Gorgia Enfatica (GE). The study, more specifically, investigates how sociolinguistic and linguistic factors can influence the process of attrition of GT and GE analysing the speech of people who have moved from Florence to other areas of Italy. Similarly, it investigates the process of acquisition of these traits analysing speeches of subjects who have moved to Florence from other regional areas. The research aims to understand what happens at the microscopic level, and which factors influence Cross-Linguistic-Interference, when two mutually intelligible varieties of the same language come into contact; it also allows to expand knowledge about GT and GE at both linguistic and sociolinguistic level.

Supervisor: Prof. Giovanna Marotta – Pisa

Roberta Bianca Luzietti

Legacy data and Sociophonetics. A case study on rhotic degemination in Tuscan vernacular.

The project aims at conducting a sociophonetic analysis on oral sources from the past, initially conceived for other purposes. The selected archive consists of interviews conducted by the historian Angela Spinelli in the early 1980s. The analysis focuses on rhotic degemination in the rural variety of Prato. This work aims at providing an experimental framework on a residual phonetic phenomenon, through to the reuse of historical archives of the past containing spontaneous speech, difficult to elicit in the laboratory. Being able to access oral material, properly annotated and witness of the history and language of the past, represents the opportunity for an interdisciplinary work on the evolution of sociolinguistic phenomena.

Supervisor: Prof. Silvia Calamai – Siena

Filippo Saettoni
A Corpus-Assisted Analysis on the Use of Vague Language Across the BNC and the ICE Corpora

Despite being a requirement for adequate communication, vague expressions have been granted little attention over the years, due to their apparent imprecision and ambiguity. However, recently, their importance in conversational exchanges has been positively reassessed by many scholars. In this light, the research will qualify as a corpus-assisted analysis on vagueness, which will be carried out in two parts by means of corpus linguistics tools and by adopting a sociolinguistic perspective. While the first part will focus on a corpus-driven analysis of vague expressions within the spoken section of the British National Corpus, the second part will investigate how vague language use varies, both quantitatively and qualitatively, across 12 national varieties of English, which will be retrieved from the International Corpus of English. Hopefully, corpus linguistics tools together with the large size of the corpora will help display the most typical vague expressions and their patterns in different varieties of English. These results might be used to raise ESL learners’ awareness of how vagueness is used in relation to a set of sociolinguistic parameters and across different varieties of English.

Supervisor: Prof. Silvia Bruti – Pisa

Daler Tashkhuzhaev

Language interference in the acquisition of unaccusative Italian verbs by native Russian speakers

This thesis project proposes investigating the possible implications of the Unaccusative Hypothesis on the acquisition of verbal syntax of Italian L2 by native Russian speakers. Although both these languages have unaccusative verbs, their distribution and morphosyntactic features may vary significantly causing potential cases of language interference. This study intends to show how the instances of wrong selections of perfective auxiliary with intransitive verbs operated by native Russian learners can be accounted for the differences in morphosyntactic representation of split intransitivity in these two languages and their semantics. Combining the methods of contrastive analysis of the morphosyntactic and semantic features of correspondent Italian and Russian intransitive verbs with the experimental evidence from native Russian learners of Italian L2, this project intends to investigate the potential application of the Unaccusative Hypothesis to second language learning.

Supervisor: Prof. Francesca Gallina – Pisa

Third-Year Students


Marta Capossela
Transfiguration of text in V. Shklovsky: from the literary form to cinema


Within the framework of the theories elaborated by the Russian Formalists both in the literary and cinematographic spheres, the project aims to investigate the process of script adaptation and consequent ekranizatsiya (film adaptation) of a work of classical Russian literature. The critical and philological analysis will trace the methodological intuitions of Viktor Borisovich Shklovsky (1893-1984), one of the founders of the formal method and one of the first theorists to identify the expressive and communicative potential of cinema, underlining its character of pure audiovisual writing, a syncretic writing made up of a singular interweaving of word and image.

Преображение текста у В. Шкловского: от литературной формы к кинематографической среде

В рамках теорий, разработанных русскими формалистами в области литературы и кинематографа в 1920-1930-х годах, проект ставит своей целью исследовать процесс адаптации в сценарий и последующей экранизации произведения классической русской литературы. Критический и филологический анализ прослеживает методологические интуиции Виктора Борисовича Шкловского (1893-1984), одного из основателей формального метода и одного из первых теоретиков, выявивших выразительный и коммуникативный потенциал кино и подчеркнувших его характер чистого аудиовизуального письма, синкретического письма, состоящего из своеобразного переплетения слова и изображения.

Supervisor: ProF. Marco Sabbatini – Pisa

Santa Vanessa Cavallari
À la croisée entre Self-translation Studies et Cultural Studies. Auto-traduction et production translingue dans l’émigration féminine dissidente au XXe Siècle.

My research project aims to examine self-translation and translingual literary creation as manifestations of the emerging feminist consciousness in the 20th century. In the migration and exile, this underground female literature feeds specific forms of creation such as self-translated (auto)biography and four-handed translation, related to some linguistic phenomena (code-mixing and translingualism). The research deals with the value and meaning of these choices through a corpus of female writers that concerns three political realities: Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy and the Puerto Rican independence movement. This will allow us to strengthen the thesis by means of a literary analysis extended over the entire century and conducted on a diversified linguistic spectrum. The aim is to bring to light a slice of dissident literature that has fallen into oblivion, but which, through the practice of self-translation associated with the condition of the exile – not only from a strictly political point of view, but also in a broader social sense – gives birth to the contemporary gender equality approach.

Notre projet de recherche vise à approfondir l’auto-traduction et/ou la production littéraire translingue en tant que force motrice de la conscience féminine naissante au XXe siècle. L’étude portera sur une portion ciblée de la production littéraire féminine de la migrance et de l’exiliance, afin d’interroger les formes spécifiques de poïésis issues de la dissidence notamment l’(auto)biographie auto-traduite, la traduction à quatre mains, le code-mixing et le translinguisme. Notre propos sera étayé par une analyse étalée sur un spectre linguistique large et recouvrant trois contextes politiques diverses : Russie soviétique, Italie fasciste et mouvement pour l’indépendance portoricaine. Le but étant celui de faire resurgir une partie de littérature dissidente tombée dans l’oubli, mais qui grâce à l’auto-traduction sollicite la lutte de genre faisant l’objet de débats animés dans la société contemporaine.

Supervisor: Prof. Antonietta Sanna – Pisa

Federica Pietrapertosa
Postmodern lines: rhizomatic identities in Bernard-Marie Koltès’ theatre


Looking at the influences of the spatial turn on literary studies, the aim of my research is to show the connection between a reticular idea of space and the issues of Identity and Otherness. According to Lyotard, the 80s are characterised by the end of metanarratives and the rejection of all totalising thoughts. By analysing the spaces and the spatial relations in Koltès’ plays, my study aims to understand how the development of a modular idea of reality in the form of archipelago, a “logique sous forme d’archipel”, impacts on the dramaturgical choices and shows a renewed historical awareness. In order to achieve this goal, the corpus of my thesis will be made up of all Bernard-Marie Koltès’ plays. Today Koltès is considered as one of the greatest European playwrights able to express, in his theatre, the challenges that affected literature and culture in the late 20th century.

Lignes postmodernes: identités rhizomatiques dans le théâtre de Bernard-Marie Koltès

Situé dans le sillage des études sur les conséquences littéraires du tournant spatial, ce projet vise à montrer comment et dans quelle mesure l’analyse de l’écriture théâtrale peut contribuer aux réflexions sur l’espace qui intéressent la littérature et les études culturelles à partir des années 1980. À travers l’analyse des lieux et des relations spatiales dans l’écriture de Bernard-Marie Koltès, cette recherche vise à comprendre comment l’émergence d’une idée réticulaire d’espace, en affectant les notions d’identité et altérité, engendre des solutions – dramaturgiques – spécifiques, témoins d’un renouvelé lien entre littérature et société. L’effacement de l’image de l’Histoire en tant que ligne progressive s’accompagne à la dissolution des métarécits selon celle qui a été définie une “logique sous forme d’archipel”. Les éléments qui la constitue, affranchis des contraintes imposées par la ligne droite, s’ouvrent à la multiplicité des connections et directions possibles. Aujourd’hui considéré comme l’un de plus intéressants dramaturges européens, Koltès a su synthétiser, au niveau de son écriture, les changements et les défis qui ont traversé la littérature et la culture à la fin du XXe siècle. Le corpus de la thèse sera constitué par la totalité de ses pièces. En vertu de la nature littéraire de son théâtre, un regard sur ses autres textes sera également nécessaire.

Supervisor: Prof. Antonietta Sanna – Pisa

Valerie Tosi
Charles Dickens and Australia: A Fictional Universe on the Periphery of the Empire in the History of English Culture

The research project is concerned with the discursive construction of Australian colonial identity in Victorian literature and literary journals and consists of three interconnected investigation paths: the first explores the geographical and sociocultural representation of Australia in Charles Dickens’ journals Household Words and All the Year Round between 1850 and 1870; the second aims at explaining the influence of official reports, letters, tales, illustrations and paintings by imperial officers, colonisers, correspondents and emigrated artists on Dickens’ fictionalisation of Australia; the third intends to compare the Dickensian filtered view of the British colony and the related literary rendering of Australia with different characterisations of the Antipodes by contemporaries of Dickens such as William Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot and Charlotte Mary Yonge, in order to explain the preponderance and rooting of Dickens’ idea of Australia in the Victorian England. This study would be carried out from a postcolonial and geocritical research perspective and would outline a historical, cultural and ideological background which is essential to explain the existence of a wide range of contemporary rewritings and film versions of Dickens’ novels in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.

Supervisor: Prof. Biancamaria Rizzardi – Pisa


Chiara Cernicchiaro
Zum DaF-Erwerb der Konstituentenabfolge im deutschen Mittelfeld

This research project investigates the order of the constituents in the German Mittelfeld from a Deutsch als Fremdsprache (DaF) point of view. According to the topological model, it is possible to divide the German sentence in three syntactic fields, i.e. Vorfeld, Mittelfeld and Nachfeld, which are identified through the Verbalklammer (verbal brackets). The Mittelfeld is the central field and can host an undefined number of constituents. Constituents sequence abides by several constraints and depends on morphological (e.g. Gesetzt der wachsenden Glieder), syntactic (e.g. syntactic function) and semantic factors (e.g. Te.Ka.Mo.Lo.), but is also determined by the informational structure (e.g. Thema/Rhema-Gliederung, Fokussierung). These conditions define the markedness and acceptability of the whole sentence. This phenomenon has a multifaceted nature and it is still impossible to find a unique fixed rule for its didactic description. The order of the constituents in the Mittelfeld can be a difficult topic, especially in the academic context, since university students often have to face various complex texts. The knowledge of the Satzgliederabfolge in the Mittelfeld can be a valid aid in this sense.  The aim of this research is to examine the results of some ad hoc tests of reading comprehension in order to investigate how DaF-students learn the order of constituents in the Mittelfeld. This will allow to identify some methodologies for the didactics of this topic.

Das Forschungsprojekt nimmt sich vor, die Satzgliederabfolge im Mittelfeld des deutschen Satzes aus einer DaF-didaktischen Perspektive zu untersuchen. Das topologische Modell erkennt durch die Verbalklammer drei syntaktische Felder: das Vorfeld, das Mittelfeld und das Nachfeld. Das Mittelfeld enthält eine unbestimmte Anzahl von Satzgliedern, die nach verschiedenen kombinatorischen Ordnungstendenzen aufeinanderfolgen. Diese sind diversen Variablen zuzuschreiben: morphologischen (z. B. Gesetzt der wachsenden Glieder), syntaktischen (z. B. syntaktische Funktion), semantischen (z. B. Te.Ka.Mo.Lo.) Faktoren sowie der pragmatischen Bedingungen und der Informationsstruktur des Satzes (s. Thema/Rhema-Gliederung, Fokussierung). Diese Variablen bestimmen sowohl die Markiertheit als auch die Grammatikalität des gesamten Satzes. Dieses Phänomen hat eine polyedrische Natur und deshalb gibt es keine eindeutige Regel dafür, was noch eine ausschlaggebende Frage im Bereich der DaF-Didaktik ist. Insbesondere im universitären Kontext ist diese Problematik erheblich: die Hochschulstudenten müssen sich nämlich mit besonders komplexen Texten auseinandersetzen. Für deren wirksames Verständnis spielt die Satzgliederabfolge im Mittelfeld eine wichtige Rolle. Anhand der Ergebnisse einiger ad hoc Tests zielt die Untersuchung darauf hin, einige Beobachtungen über das DaF-Erlenen der Satzgliederabfolge im Mittelfeld je nach dem Sprachniveau der Studenten anzustellen und einige Vorschläge für die Didaktik dieses Themas zu unterbreiten.

Supervisor: Prof. Marina Foschi – Pisa

Ludovica Cerini
Analyzing Conceptual Metaphors through Identification and Detection Computational Models

The objective of this research project is to analyze how conceptual metaphors are formed, standardized in language, and what are the cognitive mechanisms that enable their recognition and motivate their use by humans and machines. Indeed, conceptual metaphors represent a particularly relevant mental mechanism. They are, as a matter of fact, identified as processes that aid human beings in the comprehension of abstract concepts and which, along with words and mental images, shape the human perception. The widespread use of social networks, and, more generally speaking, of Internet, allows us to observe how these very metaphors are widely used to convey messages and how they abruptly change meaning depending on what forces are acting on the socio-cultural context. Within the project, linguistic and multimodal datasets will be analyzed with computational models in order to find the most efficient approach to identify and detect conceptual metaphors automatically. The recognition of conceptual metaphors represents, as a matter of fact, a key element in the development of affective computing and sentiment analysis systems.

Supervisor: Prof. Alessandro Lenci – Pisa

Giulia Greco
Il futuro perfetto in greco antico: tra forma e funzioni.


The aim of this project is to investigate the future perfect in Ancient Greek. The Homeric forms of future perfect will constitute the starting data base. We intend to analyse these forms on both formal and functional grounds. The project comprises three sections. In the first, we will address the issue of the origin of the future perfect, in comparison with Vedic desiderative and the Ancient Greek primary perfect. Firstly, the stems and reduplication types of Greek will be analysed. Then, we will examine the function of reduplication and its potential interplay with the desiderative form. In the second section, we will investigate the relationship between future perfect and middle voice. Our goal is to analyse semantically the properties of the predicates that show future perfect in Homer. Thus, we will be able to determine whether these predicates belong to the media tantum group or the selection of middle voice depends on the counterfactual nature of future tense. In the last section, we will address the relationship between future perfect and sigmatic future, by comparing Greek and Vedic data. The results of the present study might contribute to shed new lights on the original functions of the Ancient Greek future tense and its relationship with other categories and moreover it might bring us to a new understanding of the relationship between tense and modality.

Supervisor: Prof. Domenica Romagno – Pisa

Carolina Marescotti
The expansion of Indo-European middle voice: denominal verbs and voice alternation in ancient Greek and Latin

This project addresses the function and distribution of denominal verbs in ancient Greek and Latin, from a comparative and historical perspective, in order to clarify the principles underlying the derivation pattern and voice selection of these formations. It is known that Latin deponents expanded via denominal derivation. However, denominative verbs show a great degree of oscillation in the selection of active/middle endings, especially in the archaic period. In our MA thesis, we provided a possible account of this phenomenon in Latin. Here, we propose to investigate voice alternation in denominal verbs in ancient Greek, in comparison to Latin data. The morphosyntactic behaviour and the semantic properties of these verbs will be analysed, in order to clarify their function in relation to both formation pattern and diathesis. Moreover, an answer will be provided to the long-debated question of the relationship between the properties of the base noun, the actionality of the derived verb and the selection of voice. The results of our project could provide new evidence on the extension of middle category in ancient Greek and specifically contribute to understanding the derivation pattern and the voice selection of denominal verbs in ancient Indo-European languages in a unitary model.

Supervisor: Prof. Domenica Romagno – Pisa

Paolo Pedinotti
Semantic knowledge and cases of enriched compositionality

The project focuses on the factors that justify the production and facilitate the interpretation of expressions defined as examples of enriched compositionality (the meaning of an expression is not given by the meanings of its parts, cf. drink the bottle where bottle stands for a liquid). The project assumes a rich model of communication where interlocutors’ strategies are driven by semantic knowledge (knowledge of associations between concepts), a model of which can be obtained by exploiting distributional information (which words co-occur with others in a large corpus of text).

Supervisor: Prof. Alessandro Lenci – Pisa

Rosso Manuel Senesi
Analisi empirica e teorica sul Disturbo Evolutivo di Dislessia

The goal of my Ph.D. research is the study of the linguistic competence of children with developmental dyslexia. We intend to develop an annotated corpus of spontaneously written texts produced by children between the age of 6-12 years old. Therefore, we will be able to observe the errors diachronically in order to highlight potential differences during cognitive development. A series of empirical tests will be designed to analyze the children’s competence in the different modules of the language architecture (i.e., phonology; graphemics; semantics morpho-syntax), as well as in other cognitive abilities (i.e., Working Memory; attention, etc.). We also plan on comparing the frequency and the kind of errors made by the children in written texts with their results in linguistic and cognitive tasks. Our analysis could also allow us to test the ideological primitives of single-deficit and multiple-deficit theories proposed in the literature by looking for statistical correlations between the kind of writing mistakes and cognitive abilities.

Supervisor: Prof. Giovanna Marotta – Pisa

Third-Year Students


Rachele Cinerari
Literature and Mathematics

The doctoral research project – which focuses on French and German literary texts written in the early 20th Century – deals with the relationship between literature and mathematics, analysed through the study of some texts that directly aims the question, in order to observe how mathematics is used metaphorically as a tool for investigating possibility, showing that literature is a cognitive tool in a continuous tension between precision and possibility.

Literatur und Mathematik

Das Dissertationsprojekt, das sich auf deutsch- und französischsprachige Texte aus dem 19. Jahrhundert konzentriert, beschäftigt sich mit den Beziehungen zwischen Literatur und Mathematik, die Mathematik im metaphorischen Sinne als Mittel zur Untersuchung der Möglichkeit verwendet.

Littérature et mathématiques

Le projet de recherche doctorale – qui se concentre sur des textes germanophones du début du XXe siècle – porte sur les rapports entre littérature et mathématiques, analysant à travers l’étude des textes qui interrogeaient directement la question, afin d’observer comment les textes pris en l’analyse mathématique soit utilisée au sens métaphorique comme outil d’investigation de la possibilité, et comment la littérature est un outil cognitif qui agit avec des instruments et des voies propres, dans une tension continue entre précision et possibilité.

Supervisor: Prof. Stefano Brugnolo – Pisa

Jenna El Hilali

Intercultural exchanges in the ancient Mediterranean: cosmography, literature and myths

Based on a few figures of ‘foreign’ mediators who linked through their ‘descriptions’ various places and people of the Mediterranean during Antiquity and Renaissance, we seek to understand how Myth and History can interpenetrate to make Literature a field allowing for the circulation of ideas, knowledge and cultures. In the Euro-Mediterranean area, the coexistence of Otherness, real or symbolic, has lenghtily favoured the construction of a plural identity that allows both worldwide and self-awareness. Thus, in the 16th century, an Andalusian Moorish diplomat, whose destiny was adventurous, was adopted by Pope Leo X, and was renamed after him Jean-Léon de Médicis. He became a cosmographer and, thanks to his knowledge of languages, customs and sciences still unknown to westerners, he could transcribe into Italian the sum of his knowledge about Africa. This example, which is not an isolated one, raises new questions in the context of a global geopolitical order which is definitely ignoring lessons from History while making Exclusion the new rule.

Les échanges interculturels en Méditerranée ancienne : cosmographie, littérature et mythes

A partir de quelques figures de passeurs “étrangers” qui, de l’Antiquité à la Renaissance, ont relié, par leurs “descriptions”, divers lieux et peuples de la Méditerranée, nous cherchons à observer comment le mythe et l’histoire s’interpénètrent pour faire de la littérature un espace de circulation des idées, des savoirs et des cultures. Dans l’espace euro-méditerranéen, la coexistence des altérités, réelles ou symboliques, a longtemps favorisé la construction d’une identité plurielle qui permet à la fois de connaître le monde et de se connaître soi-même. Ainsi, au XVIe siècle, un diplomate maure d’origine andalouse au destin aventureux, adopté par le pape Léon X qui lui donne son propre nom, Jean-Léon de Médicis, devient cosmographe et transcrit en italien la somme des connaissances sur l’Afrique qu’il possède grâce à sa connaissance des langues, des coutumes et des sciences inconnues des Occidentaux. Ce cas, qui n’est pas isolé, soulève encore de nouvelles questions face à un équilibre géopolitique mondial dominé par les exclusions et l’oubli des leçons de l’histoire

Supervisor: Prof. Antonietta Sanna – Pisa

Giulio Milone
Generational Hauntings: Forms and Ethics
of Domestic Trauma in the Contemporary Family Novel [L-LIN/10]

The research project concerns the study of the family novel, understood here as the story of a family which spans two or more generations, and which is characterised by a series of recurring elements, in themes as well as in structure. As shown by the relatively sparse but pioneering studies on the subject, the family novel as a literary genre is a problematic (as well as necessary) category which deserves further scholarly attention. My research consists in a three-fold comparative analysis: I plan to take a closer look at works from three contemporary novelists and use two novels of each as case studies. The primary sources would therefore amount to six novels, as I intend to argue that these novelists are carrying out a personal meditation on this literary genre, and that the six novels which are to be analysed can be read as phases of a gradual exercise in taking apart a certain facet of the family novel. Taking a closer look at a peculiar and frequently slippery genre such as the family novel provides us with the opportunity to test how these texts naturally interact and deal with the very same themes and preoccupations which characterize most of contemporary literature. The family novel, in fact, inevitably tackles such issues as the relationship with materiality (i.e. how is family heritage transmitted?); the question of connectivity and authenticity, in the sense of how today’s interpersonal relationships are developed); finally, confronting temporality, as it clearly emerges from the conflictual stances the protagonists of these novels have with history, the past and how it shapes the present.

Supervisor: Prof. Roberta Ferrari – Pisa

Giovanni Pontolillo

L’image du corps dans les Mémoires d’outre-tombe de Chateaubriand

The research investigates the human body representation and its images, through a stylistic, rhetorical, and philological analysis of Chateaubriand’s Mémoires d’outre-tombe (1768-1848). The work alternates the analysis of single case studies with moments of synthesis guided by the concepts of character (caractère) and sensitivity (sensibilité), of which I try to analyze metamorphoses and survivals.

La recherche porte sur la représentation de l’image du corps humain, à travers une analyse stylistique, rhétorique et philologique des Mémoires d’outre-tombe de Chateaubriand (1768-1848). La thèse alterne l’analyse de cas particuliers et de moments de synthèse guidés par les concepts de caractère et de sensibilité, dont j’essaie d’analyser les métamorphoses et les survivances.

Supervisore: Prof. Gianni Iotti – Pisa

Federica Scopsi

The Beginnings of South American Science Fiction: Utopia and Satire

The project is dedicated to the study of the first science fiction texts in Chilean and Argentinian literature at the end of the 19th century, in particular those which, through the typically utopian motif of the travel through space or time and the representation of new ways of social organization, conceal moral and social criticism to reality of their times. Through the examination, both in a formal and thematic sense, of the interpretations that the authors made of the models they imitated (classical satire, the scientific novel of the 19th century) and the analysis of recurring meaningful elements (negative representation of the masses, description of custom and manners with moral aim, the use of a literary form to convey a strongly ideological message), this investigation aims at understanding which particular idea of progress and which vision of the past can be found behind these texts, and in which sense their circulation was supposed to actively contribute, in their authors’ mind, to the modernization processes of their countries.

Los comienzos de la narrativa sudamericana de ciencia ficción: sátira y utopía

El proyecto está dedicado al estudio de los primeros textos de ciencia ficción de las literaturas chilena y argentina de finales del siglo XIX, en particular a aquellos que, tras la representación de nuevas formas de organización social sobre las que suelen estar construidas las tramas utópicas del viaje a otro país o del viaje a través del tiempo, esconden una crítica moral y social a la realidad de su tiempo. Teniendo en cuenta, en un sentido tanto formal como temático, la interpretación de los modelos que sus autores imitan (la sátira clásica, la novela científica del siglo XIX) y los elementos más significativos por su repetición (la representación negativa de las masas, la descripción de costumbres con intento moralizante, la elección de formas literarias para transmitir un contenido con una fuerte carga ideológica), la investigación busca entender qué particular idea de progreso y qué visión del pasado se encuentran detrás de estos textos, y en qué sentido su difusión hubiera tenido que contribuir, según sus autores, a los procesos de modernización de sus respectivos países.

Supervisor: Prof. Alessandra Ghezzani – Pisa


Alessandro Aru

Complex figures of speech: a cognitive pragmatic approach
[SSD L-LIN/12]

The research project aims at analysing the cognitive complexity of compound figures of speech, that is tropes which serve more than one purpose (i.e. ironic metaphor, hyperbolic metaphor, etc.). These expressions occur frequently in everyday speech, but they have so far received less attention in the literature than has been devoted to individual tropes. The research question concerns the logical, psychological and temporal order of interpretation: is an ironic metaphor first interpreted as a metaphor and then as irony, for instance, or is one interpretation conditioned on the other, and if so, how? The hypothesis is that the actual interpretation of these dual-figure uses depends on the context, both in terms of contextual attractors and contextual salience. The theoretical claim, however, is that individual tropes are not represented in the mind as rigid categories but rather as multidimensional spaces including flexible sets of factors that may group together differently on different occasions to let one or the other interpretation emerge. Ultimately, the study focuses on verifying the ability of the human mind to process meanings at multiple dimensions: not only from literal to metaphorical, but also from literal to metaphorical to hyperbolic (for instance).

Supervisor: Prof. Marcella Bertuccelli – Pisa

Pietro Carlo-Maria Giusteri
Per un Thesaurus delle lingue brittoniche: comparazione sincronica e diacronica delle attestazioni arcaiche

This project aims at investigating the relationship between the various Celtic dialects of the Brittonic insular Celtic group. Namely, the objective is to collect and organize in in a singular consistent corpus all the oldest testimonies of the Brittonic languages (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) in order to gain a new perspective on how and when these languages split, while considering contact phenomena with other languages, both inside and outside the Celtic branch. After arranging the testimonies (and their translations) in a Thesaurus, it will be possible to shed new light not only on phonetic, phonological and syntactic data, but also on semantic data. Any current hypothesis on the history of mutual intelligibility between the Brittonic dialects will be thoroughly analysed.

Supervisor: Prof. Andrea Nuti – Pisa

Francesca Pezzella

Pronunciation in Italian L2: accuracy and assessment

The thesis aims at investigating the segmental and suprasegmental deviations in the pronunciation of Italian by a sample of learners of Italian as a foreign language at B1, B2, C1 level who took part in the oral production exam of the Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (CILS). At the same time the assessment of the corresponding oral production tests will be performed by raters and teachers of Italian as a second/foreign language (L2/LS). The goal of the study is to test the correlation between the accuracy of pronunciation measured through instrumental analysis and the impressionistic assessment provided on pronunciation by raters and teachers using holistic and analytical rating scales, by exploring the process underlying the assessment partly through the use of the elicitation technique Thinking aloud. In other terms, based on the studies carried out mainly on the English language and by employing Derwing and Munro’s (1995; 2020) model of pronunciation perception, the purpose is to verify the impact of deviant pronunciation traits on the assessment of oral production, a test as subjective, multidimensional and difficult to assess.

Supervisor: Prof. Francesca Gallina – Pisa

Julija Šabasevičiūtė

Cromonimia contrastiva lituano-italiano
[SSD L-LIN/01]

L’oggetto della ricerca che qui si presenta è costituito dall’indagine dei più rilevanti fenomeni contrastivi individuabili ai diversi livelli dell’analisi linguistica tra l’italiano e il lituano. Lo studio si propone di indagare in prospettiva linguistica e traduttologica (profittando cioè anche delle più recenti traduzioni di testi letterari dal lituano all’italiano e viceversa) i principali fenomeni di anisomorfismo rilevabili tra le due lingue in una cornice ampia, contrastiva e comparativa. Scopo del lavoro è raccogliere un’adeguata documentazione dei suddetti fenomeni, descriverne la configurazione e comprenderne i meccanismi, al fine di facilitare lo studio del lituano da parte degli studenti italiani e quello dell’italiano da parte degli studenti lituani. Considerata in prospettiva, la ricerca vorrebbe contribuire alla stesura di una grammatica contrastiva delle due lingue che ancora manca nel panorama scientifico.

Supervisors: Prof. Pietro Umberto Dini – Pisa, Prof. Diego Ardoino – Vilnius



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