The course aims to provide students with the conceptual tools characterizing the study of language in a cognitive perspective. In particular, the course aims at providing knowledge about the processes underlying a specific aspect of language: the ability to tell stories.

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

- reconstruct the contemporary debate on the nature of language in the framework of cognitive science.
- know the basic concepts and empirical investigations carried out in the context of the cognitive sciences of language.
- read and understand experimental scientific articles dealing with issues relating to the cognitive foundations of language.

teacher profile | teaching materials


The course focuses on the relationship between language and narrative from a cognitive and evolutionary point of view. In contrast to the theories considering the sentence as the essence of language, the course suggests an interpretative hypothesis based on the priority of discourse over sentence; specifically, it is suggested that the ability to tell stories is the distinctive trait both of language and human nature.
The course includes experimental activities aimed at supporting the theoretical model proposed.

Core Documentation

- Corballis M. (2020), La verità sul linguaggio, Carocci, Roma.
- Scott-Phillips (2017) Dì quello che hai in mente. Le origini della comunicazione umana, Carocci, Roma
- Ferretti F. (in stampa), L'istinto persuasivo. Carocci, Roma

Type of delivery of the course

Teaching modality will be subject to the pandemic trend

Type of evaluation

Individual written paper to be agreed with the teacher.