The section promotes research, projects and the development of resources both at national and international levels, in all the disciplinary areas concerned with the study of language in all its aspects: historical, descriptive, theoretical, philological and applicative. The section comprises professors and researchers of the L-FIL-LET / 12; L-LIN / 01; and L-LIN / 02 sectors. In conjunction with all the institutions working in the field of languages in Tuscany, the section seeks to meet the needs of the territory and its production sector in the areas of promoting the Italian language, the computation of language, linguistic mediation and language teaching in educational institutions.
The section has organizational relationships with the Centre of Historical and Theoretical Linguistics: Italian, European and Oriental Languages (CLIEO), and its members currently are members of the PhD Committees in Philology, Italian Literature, Linguistics and in Comparative Languages, Literature and Culture.
The section has various research areas.
- In the field of Italian Linguistics, the research is oriented towards the study of the structure and history of the Italian language in the broadest sense, with expertise regarding both the evolution of Italian-Romance grammatical institutes (including the processes of derivation from Vulgar Latin), the complex of linguistic events that have influenced Italy from the early Middle Ages to the present, as well as the analysis of ancient and modern texts with connections to the philological disciplines. Among the range of survey methods and approaches used, special focus is on information technology and its application to the lexicological and lexicographical field, leading to the compiling of glossaries and databases. The section has a longstanding and special relationship with the Accademia della Crusca, as well as with other institutions in the area, such as the Opera del Vocabolario Italiano, the ITTIG (Istituto di Teoria e Tecniche dell’Informazione Giuridica - Institute of Theory and Techniques of Legal Information) and the Biblioteca Leonardiana di Vinci - Leonardian Library of Vinci.
- In the Linguistic-Glottological field, the research is directed towards the fields of comparative, historical and typological linguistics, and of theoretical linguistics, with a particular reference to Indo-European languages and, within these, to classical languages and Romance languages. The section also offers specific expertise in the following areas: History of Linguistic Theories, Languages of Ancient Italy, Formal and experimental linguistics, Syntax, Semantics, Spoken language analysis, Corpus and computational linguistics. The section has enjoyed an equally longstanding relationship with institutions, businesses and initiatives, such as the Inter-University Centre of Geoparoemiology, the Institute of Studies for Alto Adige, with its own library founded by Carlo Battisti, the Atlas Linguarum Europae, and the Florentine Linguistic Circle, which has held weekly sessions since 1945.
- In the field of Glottodidactics, the research focuses on theoretical, historical and applicative studies concerning the acquisition, learning and teaching of mother, second and foreign languages, as well as the evaluation and certification of their proficiencies. Specific attention is given to studies concerning linguistic contact in an intercultural perspective, translatology, e-learning processes for teaching/learning and use of languages, teacher training for the teaching of special languages.
The section includes the LABLITA Research Unit, equipped with a laboratory, aimed at collecting, archiving and studying a wide range of Italian and multi-lingual spoken languages and managing the database. LABLITA has initiated agreements with foreign Universities (UFGM-Belo Horizonte, University of Basel) and Research Centres (ISTC-CNR Rome), and has stipulated transfer contracts (European Language Resource Distribution Agency - ELDA Paris; Dr.Wolf S.r.l., Writexp S.r.l.).