The course has two main goals. The first one is to propose an education finalized to learn the main classification methods of language disorders in pathologies such as aphasia, autism, schizophrenia. The second is to illustrate how the investigation of language disorders might be used to inform theoretical models on language functioning.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to: a) use knowledge on linguistic pathologies to reflect on the more general issue of the cognitive plausibility of the theoretical models proposed to account for the functioning of language; b) read and understand experimental scientific articles written in English dealing with issues relating to the cognitive foundations of language.


teacher profile | teaching materials


The course focuses on language pathologies, with particular attention to the deficits related to the discursive communication. Among the cases discusses, there are the communicative deficits characterizing pathologies such as autism, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury. In such cases, as well as in many neuropsychological and psychopathological disorders, the communicative impairments mainly concern the level of discourse and depend on deficits that primarily involve the cognitive dimension, rather than the linguistic one. Thus, the study of discourse disorders is particularly useful to investigate a more general question that is extremely relevant from a theoretical point of view: the relationships between language and cognition.

Core Documentation

1) Adornetti I. (2018) Patologie del linguaggio e della comunicazione. Carocci, Roma

2) Adornetti, I., Chiera, A., Deriu, V., Altavilla, D., Valeri, G., Marini, A., ... & Ferretti, F. (2020). L'elaborazione delle storie nel disturbo dello spettro autistico: il caso delle narrazioni visive. Sistemi intelligenti, 32(3), 623-647.

3) Li, X., Hu, D., Deng, W., Tao, Q., Hu, Y., Yang, X., ... & Zhang, X. (2017). Pragmatic ability deficit in schizophrenia and associated theory of mind and executive function. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 2164.

Type of delivery of the course

The final decision on the teaching modality will be subject to the pandemic trend

Type of evaluation

In the event of an extension of the health emergency from COVID-19, the following methods will be applied: oral exams from remote.