Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit studies the role of language in the history of Italy from ancient times to the present. It considers language change as an expression of broader social and cultural changes which are also reflected in philosophical and artistic developments. It analyses the emergence of vernacular, of the dialects and of the Italian language itself. Special attention will be paid to the development of the national language, but this will be treated, as will all other matters, within the context of an investigation of “who spoke what language to whom” at the crucial moments in Italy's long linguistic history.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the ITLNB Italian Studies; ITLNI Italian Studies; ITLNA Italian Studies major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) analyse the principal moments of language change in the history of Italy and their social context; (2) examine critical notions in sociolinguistics within a historical framework; (3) analyse selected cases of language change in the history of the Italian language and explain those changes with reference to internal (linguistic) causes and external (non-linguistic) causes; and (4) use the Italian language in spoken and written form at Level B2/C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online tests; (2) research essay; and (3) tutorial participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Josh Brown
Unit rules
ITAL2404 Italian Studies 4
or ITAL2204 Italian Intermediate II
or ITAL2406 Italian Studies 6
or ITAL2206 Italian Advanced II
or ITAL2408 Italian Studies 8
or ITAL2208 Italian Advanced IV
or approval of Convener.
and ITAL2811 Italian Culture in Word and Image: from the Middle Ages to the Risorgimento (formerly ITAL2811 Italian Studies 11)
or ITAL2812 The Shape of Italian: Communicating Between Worlds (formerly ITAL2812 Italian Studies 12)
or ITAL2820
or ITAL2821
or ITAL2822
ITAL2226 Linguistic History of Italy
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week
for 10 weeks from week 2
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.