First-Year Students


Dott.ssa María Helena Fernández Serrano

A hand fan of flames: Lucía Sánchez Saornil’s ultraist and libertarian poetry literary analysis



This research project aims to analyze Lucía Sánchez Saornil’s poetry. This Spanish poet, journalist and feminist anarcho-syndicalist was most active in the first three decades of the 20th century, publishing in many literary journals of different sorts -provincial, modernist, vanguardist, anarchic, feminist-. Her poetic compositions related to the Spanish vanguardist movement Ultraism, of which Saornil was the only female voice, and the poems which were inspired by the author’s political activism will be attentively considered. Aiming to highlight the esthetic-literary value of her work and not just the pioneer and her politically-committed characteristics, this study will focus on the analysis of the poetic text through a critical approach considering philological and stylistic aspects. Lastly, this study, which will be presented in Spanish, will also take into account social studies and gender studies in order to analyze the author’s poetry in the correct cultural and political framework and between the dynamics of the literary journals in that historical period.

Supervisors: Prof. E. Di Pastena – Prof.ssa F. Cappelli


Dott.ssa Maria Giardina

Time, language and worldview: a study of time and recurring composition scheme in the last poem of T. S. Eliot



The project is focused on producing a new critical Italian edition of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, in line with international critical contributions. The research aims to investigate new lines of interpretation, which highlight the textual openness and the originality of Eliot’s last poem. The main focus of the research is to study the complex play of time in Eliot’s last poem, which operates on formal, thematic, and metatextual levels. The research will examine the connection between the plots of time and the dimensions of language, temporality, and worldview. The theoretical study of temporality will complement the study of the composition pattern of the poem, which is based on a recurring image scheme. The project will highlight the complex relationship between the use of poetic language and the philosophical and ethical conception of the world, which imply and complement each other. The concentric link between time, language, and worldview in the Four Quartets allows us to establish a parallelism between the written dimension of the text and its reading, composition of the work, and reception of the same. Finally, we aim to investigate the points of contact between Eliot’s temporal conception and that present in other literary works.

Supervisors: Prof. F. Ciompi – Prof.ssa L. Giovannelli


Dott.ssa Teresa Lombardi

The Cultural Relations Between the Italian Peninsula and the Grand Principality of Moscow in the 15th and the 16th Centuries: Itineraries, Protagonists and Records



This research project aims to help recompose an overview of the relations between the States of the Italian peninsula and Muscovy in the period between the 15th and 16th centuries, in their political-diplomatic, but also and above all cultural expression – literary, artistic and architectural. This will also aim to highlight the proximity of the Muscovite cultural environment of the time to the Italian Humanism and Renaissance, which is currently being dealt with in Slavic studies by an important part of the scientific community. The influence of the Italian Humanism and Renaissance on the Grand Principality of Moscow, in fact, is evident in the literary field – there were massive translations of Latin and Greek texts of ecclesiastical matters – and in the architectural field – it was Italian architects who built the Moscow Kremlin. At the same time, in Italian literary works – ethno-geographical treatises – and artistic works – la Dama con l’ermellino – interest towards the still little-known Russian land emerges. Therefore, starting from the current scientific literature, through a census of published and unpublished contemporary sources, two inventories will be compiled, one of the actors of these relations, and the other of their records, with the aim of taking a first step in the creation of an overall vision that we are currently lacking. Through these inventories it will also be possible to highlight the most relevant historical moments of contact, the very nature of the exchanges, their unilaterality or reciprocity in certain areas. Finally, a series of representative documents will be selected and studied in depth, in order to provide a glimpse of the historical and cultural framework as it was perceived by contemporaries.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa F. Romoli – Prof. M. Sabbatini


Dott.ssa Camilla Predieri

Albert Camus’ theatrical adaptations: an intersemiotic and interlinguistic translation



The research aims to provide an analysis of the theatrical adaptations made by Albert Camus. More specifically, it deals with an in-depth and detailed explanation of each transposition for the stage. The study will focus on the literary value of the original works, and afterwards it will concentrate on the variant proposed by the French-Algerian author. The project also includes the dramas published posthumously and plays that – although not explicitly adaptations – seem inspired by previously written texts. Particular attention will be given to the content variations of the plots, the process of intersemiotic translation in the transition from one literary genre to another, and the interlinguistic translation: Albert Camus adapted works from different authors, eras, and languages. In our research, the selected corpus for assessing interlingual translation will be the adaptations Un cas intéressant, Requiem pour une nonne and Caligula: the plots come respectively from texts by Dino Buzzati, William Faulkner and Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus and would therefore refer to a translation from Italian, American English, and Latin. At the same time, an attempt will be made to outline common aspects and point out divergences within the adaptation activity of Albert Camus, to attempt a unity and a general and exhaustive investigation of the phenomenon. Finally, the reception of the works – original and adapted – in the cultural landscape of the time will be investigated.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa B. Sommovigo – Prof.ssa A. Sanna



Dott.ssa Bianca Abbà

Internal and external vocalic encounters: divergences and continuity



This Ph.D. project stems from the gap in the literature of detailed studies, both qualitative and quantitative, on the differences between hiatus and dialephe and diphthong and synalephe. The study builds on previous works investigating the differences between rising and falling diphthongs and between diphthongs and hiatuses; building on the results obtained, it also takes up the methods. The phenomenon analysis will be based on a corpus consisting of recordings of three different speech styles, differentiated for the diaphasic axis: formal read speech, informal read speech, and spontaneous speech, obtained through the free reworking of the informal text. The acquired data will be used to study internal and external vocalic encounters: to identify possible predictors of different realisations in the case of external vocalic encounters and to study the differences between internal and external realisations of the different outcome: internal and external tautosyllabic and heterosyllabic outcomes of vowel encounters. The project thus aims to enrich the knowledge landscape dealing with vocalic encounters to enable us to achieve symmetry in the information we have about their behaviour both in a more normed context, such as the internal context, and in a context closely related to other speech characteristics, such as the external one.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa G. Marotta – Prof.ssa S. Calamai


Dott. Alessio Agolino

A comparison between dialects of Scicli and Modica



This research aims to investigate the phonetic differences between the dialects of Scicli and Modica. Despite the close geographical proximity between the two towns, their respective dialects seem to show some divergences concerning the outcome of certain Latin consonantal clusters. In particular, the Scicli dialect presents certain phonetic features that differentiate it from the other dialects of south-eastern Sicily and distinguish Scicli as a linguistic enclave. Among the Latin clusters examined are those that in Sicilian are usually subject to palatalisation (-BL-, -PL-, -GL-, -CL-, -TL-, -LJ-, -BJ-, -VJ-, -DJ-, -TJ-, C, G + E, I). For some of these clusters, the two dialects show diametrically opposite phonetic outputs: while in Modica -CL-, -PL-, -TL- provide an affricate outcome [t(ː)ʃ], e.g. PLUMBUM > [ʧ]ummu ‘lead’, MACULA > ma[tːʃ]a ‘tree’, in Scicli the outcome is [kj]ummu or [c]ummu and ma[kːj]a or ma[cː]a, i.e., an articulation that oscillates between a coarticulated velar and a palatal plosive. Similarly, if for C + yod clusters in Modica the outcome is a voiced palatal plosive [ɟː], e.g., CAVEA > ca[ɟː]a ‘cage’, the Scicli dialect responds with an affricate [dːʒ], so we have ca[dːʒ]a. Another goal of this research is to analyze the sibilant outcomes of -STR- and /rː/, as in STRATA > [ʂː]ata, FERRUM > fie[ʂː]u, and the process of retraction of the preconsonantal sibilant /s/ → [ʃ] /_C, e.g. [ʃ]tiḍḍa ‘star’, [ʃ]cupa ‘broom’, [ʃ]pertu ‘cunning’, affecting the entire south-eastern Sicily. For the purposes of this project, a dialectal fieldwork is proposed with the aim of recording audio material and a sufficiently large amount of data to be able to conduct an accurate acoustic and statistical analysis. Particular attention will be paid to sociolinguistic aspects, such as age and gender, to document possible changes not only diastratically and synchronically, but also diachronically (apparent time hypothesis). Finally, the phenomena examined will be framed within the most recent phonological theories, in particular CVCV theory. The syllabic status of the implicated sibilant will be studied to figure out to what extent the retraction process of the preconsonantal sibilant may prove its extrasyllabicity. The processes of palatalisation will also be examined from a phonological perspective. The analysis will be focused on the incidence of positional and/or melodic factors based on phonetic evidence and the heterosyllabic computation of the C + yod clusters. The heterosyllabicity of /j/ in these clusters has been used in literature to explain the Coda Mirror phenomenon and palatalisation processes through yod fortition in the evolution from Latin to Romance languages. This project aims to provide further evidence supporting this phenomenon.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa G. Marotta – Prof.ssa S. Calamai


Dott.ssa Valeria De Rose

The aorist in -ην in Postclassical Greek between middle and passive: from the Septuagint to the New Testament.



The aim of this project is to examine the functional organization of the aorist in -ην in the Septuagint and in the New Testament to shed light on the Postclassical Greek merger of passive and middle voice (cf. Swete 1914, Browning 1983, Conybeare & Stock 1988, Horrocks 2010, Voitila 2016). It has been shown that the aorist in -ην finds its original function in the expression of unaccusative and, more specifically, anticausative values (Romagno 2014): passive, reflexive, and temporal values are epiphenomena of specific components of the verb meaning that are incompatible with the anticausative representation of the event (cf. Romagno 2010, 2021). From the Hellenistc period onwards, the Greek language shows an increasing tendency to the morphological and functional merger of passive and middle voice with an extensive use of the aorist in -ην. Therefore, this project intends to offer a detailed account of the evolution of the functional values of this aorist in Biblical Greek to explain all its instances in a coherent scenario and, hence, to understand the principles underlying the diachronic patterns of change of this morphological category (cf. Lazzeroni 2005). The research will be carried out on several fronts. Firstly, our purpose is to analyze all the occurrences of the aorist in -ην in the Septuagint in comparison to the Biblical Hebrew niphal, to see whether and to what extent this correspondence is respected and, consequently, to understand the functional principles underlying the use of both categories. Our analysis will allow us to also evaluate the influence of Hebrew and Aramaic on the Greek version of the Bible. Secondly, the occurrences of the aorist in -ην in the New Testament will be analyzed to further investigate the Hebrew-Greek interference (Blass, Debrunner & Funk 1961, Janse 1998, 2002, 2007, 2014, Mancini 2013). Thence, this project intends to contribute to the understanding, on one hand, of the merge of passive and middle voice in Postclassical Greek and, on the other hand, of the principles underlying this process, according to a homogeneous theoretical framework.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa D. Romagno – Prof. P.G. Borbone


Dott. Mattia Proietti

Artificial Intelligence Models for the automatic semantic analysis of PA and legal texts



The study aims at the experimentation of the most recent computational techniques at our disposal to analyse the linguistic competence of comprehension (Natural Language Understanding) and production (Natural Language Generation) shown by the so-called Large Language Models (LLMs) to evaluate their abilities on bureaucratic and legal texts specifically. More precisely, the proficiency of LLMs in yielding coherent linguistic representation and extracting consistent information from such vertical domains will be addressed. On the other hand, methodologies to enhance those capabilities throughout the integration of knowledge-specific information and linguistic adaptation will be explored. The project will follow two main directions: on one side, it will address the finding and/or creation of domain-specific linguistic resources; on the other side, it will be focused on the choice, evaluation and enhancement of LLMs to apply them to specific use cases and linguistic tasks of different nature and complexity among the PA and legal domains.

Supervisors: Prof. A. Lenci – Prof. L. Passaro


Dott.ssa Olga Kobzeva

Legal Language in Translation: “Foreignisation” or “Domestication”? Linguistic, contrastive and translation analysis of legal texts between Italian and Russian



This project aims to investigate the complex nature of the legal sign. In particular, the study intends to examine linguistic and textual traits of the legal sign, such as transparency, mono-/polysemy, the (non)universality of the legal concept, the performative and perlocutionary character of the legal unit. It also analyses the linguistic economy and the speaker’s strategies, used in lexicalizing a legal concept, in order to give it a prescriptive character. The project proposes a new research method that will contribute to re-evaluating the communicative macro function of the legal message, where its pragmatic element will be favoured. Thus, the study will focus on the (neuro)perception of the message, from the point of view of the common recipient, that is on the neuroperception of the surface and deep structures of the legal unit: the study from this perspective has not yet been the object of the research. Through a contrastive linguistic analysis of the normative texts between Italian, French and Russian, some convergences and divergences in the legal-conceptual coding will be illustrated. From this point of view, the role of the translator will be examined, in his or her approach to foreign or domesticate, that is in adopting the two strategies offered by Translation Studies. It will be also discussed which strategy should be favored, as well as the reasons for that choice. Finally, translation errors, i.e. mistakes and errors, and their causes will be argued. This research is based on empirical data, and aims to find out new causes of translation errors, determined by cognitive and folk linguistic factors.

Supervisors: Prof.ssa Viktoria Lazareva – Prof.ssa Luisa Ruvoletto

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