Prof. Adriana Belletti

Adriana Belletti is full professor of linguistics at the University of Siena.
She has been a student and then a researcher at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, a visiting scholar and research affiliate at the Department of Linguistics of MIT. She has taught at the University of Geneva (, in various linguistics departments and research institutes – e.g. UCLA-USA; UFSC-Florianopolis, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; Brisbane, Australia; University of Paris-7; DEC-Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris – and in various international summer institutes - e.g LSA/USA; GLOW/Girona, Barcelona, Spain; Ealing, ENS-Paris. She has been in several national and international PhD committees.

She has coordinated a number of research projects both at the national and international level, and is currently the Principal Investigator of the project Theory, experimentation, applications: long distance dependencies in forms of linguistic diversity, funded by the Italian Ministry for Higher Education ( She has been a member of the International Consortium for Linguistics Cambridge - Connecticut - Hyderabad - Nanzan - Siena - Tsing Hua; of the European Action COST/A33, Cross-linguistically robust stages of Children's Linguistic Performance; of the European Action COST/IS 0804, Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment.

Her fields of research are:
– theoretical comparative syntax
– comparative studies in L1, L2/ bilingual language acquisition and forms of language pathology.

In these domains she has published a number of influential articles and monographs, including:
Generalized verb movement: Aspects of verb syntax. Turin, Rosenberg & Sellier, 1990
The Case of Unaccusatives, Linguistic Inquiry, 19.1, 1988.
Theoretical and developmental issues in the syntax of subjects: Evidence from near-native Italian (with Elisa Bennati and Antonella Sorace), Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25 (2007).
Structures and Strategies, New York, Routlegde, 2009, Leading Linguists Series

Adriana Belletti teaches:
– Syntactic structures and compositional semantics, Part A: Syntactic structures (both curricula)
– Morphosyntax and experimental studies on language (curriculum Linguistics and Cognition)

e-mail: adriana.belletti AT
Complesso S. Niccolò, Via Roma, 56, Siena
Room 324
Tel. 0577-234759
Fax 0577-234758

Prof. Valentina Bianchi

Valentina Bianchi is an associate professor in General Linguistics and Semantics at the University of Siena.

She has been a researcher at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and a visiting professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil). She has been involved in various projects at the CISCL, and she collaborates with Cristiano Chesi in the development of a top-down grammatical model.

The main themes of her research are:
– Relative clauses
– The syntax and semantics of the person feature
– Information structure: topic (in collaboration with Mara Frascarelli), focus (in collaboration with Giuliano Bocci and Silvio Cruschina)
– Subject islands and top-down computation (in collaboration with Cristiano Chesi)

On these topics she has published a number of contributions, including:
Consequences of Antisymmetry: Headed Relative Clauses. Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter, 1999.
On the syntax of personal arguments. Lingua 116, 2023-2067.
Should I stay or should I go? Optional focus movement in Italian (with Giuliano Bocci). In C. Piñon (ed.), Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 9.
Subject islands, reconstruction, and the flow of the computation (with Cristiano Chesi). Linguistic Inquiry Vol. 45.4 (in press).
Full list if publications

Valentina Bianchi teaches:
– Syntactic structures and compositional semantics, part B: Compositional semantics (both curricula)

Email: valentina.bianchi AT
Complesso San Niccolò, via Roma 56, 53100 Siena
Room 327
Tel. 0577-234762

Prof. Alison Margaret Duguid


Prof. Christoph Lumer

Christoph Lumer is associate professor of moral philosophy at the University of Siena.
He previously taught at the University of Osnabrueck as well as at the Universities of Oldenburg and Urbino, furthermore he has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour.

His fields of research are:
– Ethics: metaethics, normative ethics, applied ethics
– Philosophy of action, theory of emotion and feeling, moral psychology
– Theory of prudential rationality (desirability theory, theory of rational decision, theory of the good life)
– Political philosophy
– Theory of argumentation
– Metaphilosophy

In these fields he has published 3 monographic books, over 100 articles and edited 7 books or special issues of scientific journals, including:
Praktische Argumentationstheorie. Theoretische Grundlagen, praktische Begründung und Regeln wichtiger Argumentations-arten. (Practical Theory of Argumentation. Theoretical Foundations, Practical Justification and Rules of Some Important Types of Arguments.) Braunschweig: Vieweg (1990).
The Greenhouse. A Welfare Assessment and Some Morals. Lanham, Md.; New York; Oxford: University Press of America (2002).
Rationaler Altruismus. Eine prudentielle Theorie der Rationalität und des Altruismus. (Rational Altruism. A Prudential Theory of Rationality and Altruism.) 2nd ed. Paderborn: Mentis 2009.

Full list of publications:

Christoph Lumer teaches:
– Theory of argumentation (curriculum: Philosophy and cognition)

e-mail: christoph.lumer AT
Complesso S. Niccolò, Via Roma, 56, Siena
Room 330
Tel. 0577-234764
Fax 0577-234758

Prof. Sandro Nannini

Sandro Nannini is full professor in Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of Mind at the University of Siena.
He has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Osnabrueck and Oldenburg, and he is the promotor of several Erasmus exchanges between the University of Siena and the universities of Bremen, Hamburg, Bonn, Compiègne, Leuven and Dublin.

From 1999 to 2011 he was the director of the Doctoral Program in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Siena.

His fields of research are:
– The mind-body problem
– The naturalization of consciousness and intentionality
– Practical analytical philosophy.

In these fields he has published a number of fundamental contributions, including:
Cognitive Naturalism in the philosophy of mind. In Sandro Nannini and Hans Jörg Sandkühler (eds.), Naturalism in the Cognitive Sciences and the Philosophy of Mind. Frankfurt a. M Peter Lang (2000).
Seele, Geist und Körper. Historische Wurzeln und philosophische Grundlagen der Kognitionswissenschaften. Frankfurt a. M., Peter Lang (2006).
Intentionality, Deliberation and Autonomy - The Action-Theoretic Basis of Practical Philosophy, co-edited with Christoph Lumer; London, Ashgate (2007).
L'anima e il corpo. Un'introduzione storica alla filosofia della mente. Roma-Bari, Laterza, (New edition: 2011).

Sandro Nannini teaches:
– Philosophy of mind, Part A: Mind and Brain

e-mail: Complesso S. Niccolò, Via Roma, 56, Siena
Room 344
Tel. 0577-234780
Fax 0577-234758

Prof. Duccio Pianigiani

Duccio Pianigiani is a researcher and assistant professor in Mathematical Logic at the University of Siena.
He is currently a member of the Department of Information Ingeneering and Mathematical Sciences (DIISM) and he is involved in a Departmental project on “trial and error” computational models.

His fields of research are:
– Provability and interpretability logic
– Lambda calculus
– Theory of computability
– “Trial and error” computational models.

His published contributions include:
Solution of a problem of D.Guaspari (with Dick de Jongh), in: Logic at work: in memory of Helena Rasiowa, ed. by Eva Orlowska, 246-255. Heidelberg/New York: Springer-Physica Verlag, 1999.
Confrontabilità tra teorie: aspetti della logica della dimostrabilità e della interpretabilità relativa. [Comparability between theories: aspects of the logic of demonstrability and of relative interpretability]. Associated International Academic Publisher, 2006.
A short note on essentially Sigma1 sentences (with Franco Montagna). Logica Universalis 7, 103-111 (2013).

Duccio Pianigiani teaches:
– Logic and Limits of Formal Systems (Curriculum: Philosophy and Cognition)

e-mail: duccio.pianigiani AT
Complesso S. Niccolò, Via Roma, 56, Siena
Room 215
tel. 0577/234850

Prof. Luigi Rizzi

Luigi Rizzi is professor of linguistics at the University of Siena and at the University of of Geneva.
He has been associate professor at MIT, and visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, at UCLA (Los Angeles) and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.

He has been involved in many international research projects and is currently the Principal Investigator of the 5-year ERC Advanced Grant SYNCART “Syntactic Cartography and Locality in Adult Grammar and Language Acquisition”, funded by the European Research Council. This project, started in 2014, is based at the University of Geneva, with the University of Siena as co-beneficiary.

His fields of research are:
– theoretical and comparative syntax, with special reference to the study of cross-linguistic variation, the study of locality, and the cartography of syntactic structures.
– language acquisition, in particular the study of the development of morpho-syntax in first language acquisition.
– psycholinguistics and the role of grammar in performance systems.

In these fields he has published a number of fundamental papers and monographs, including:
Relativized Minimality (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1990).
The Fine Structure of the Left Periphery, in Elements of Grammar, ed. by L. Haegeman (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1997).
Comparative Syntax and Language Acquisition, Routledge, New York, 2000.
Relativized relatives. Types of intervention in the acquisition of A-bar dependencies (with Naama Friedmann and Adriana Belletti), Lingua 119, 2009.

Luigi Rizzi teaches:
– Theory of Grammar and language acquisition (both curricula)

e-mail: luigi.rizzi AT
Complesso S. Niccolò,
Via Roma, 56, I-53100 Siena
Room 325
Tel. 0577-234760
Fax 0577-234758

Prof. Arturo Tosi

Arturo Tosi is full professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Siena.
He has taught for several years at Royal Holloway College and he is now Emeritus Professor of Italian Linguistics at University of London.

Since 1996 he has collaborated with the Translation Offices of the European Commission and European Parliament, dealing with the problems related to multilingual translation and its impact on national languages. He has coordinated various international projects and an EU research network in the areas of bilingual education and the language of migrants.

His fields of research include:
– Bilingualism
– Language of migrant populations and the risk of linguistic disadvantage
– Multilingual translation
– Language contact in the early modern period

In these fields he has published a number of fundamental contributions, including:
Immigration and Bilingual Education ( Pergamon Press, Oxford 1984,)
Language and Society in a changing Italy. (Multilingual Matters, 2000)
Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures: The Challenge of Multilingual Translation for the European Union (Multilingual Matters, 2001)
Rethinking Languages in Contact: the Case of Italian (Legenda: Oxford, 2005, con A.L. Lepschy)

Arturo Tosi teaches:
– Language, Society and Ideology (both curricula)

Complesso S. Niccolò, Via Roma, 56, Siena
Room 328
Tel. 0577-234763
Fax 0577-234758

Prof. Gabriele Usberti

Gabriele Usberti is full professor of Philosophy of Language at the University of Siena.

His fields of research include:
- Theories of Meaning
- Theories of Truth
- Intuitionism
- Realism/Anti-realism Debates
- Propositional Attitudes

In these fields he has published a number of contributions, including:
- “Towards a semantics based on the notion of justification”, Synthese 149:3, 2006, 675-699.
- “Anti-Realist Truth and Truth-Recognition” Topoi 31, 1, 2012, pp. 37–45.
- “A notion of C-justification for empirical statements”, in H. Wansing (ed.), Dag Prawitz on Proofs and Meaning, Springer, forthcoming.
- “The Paradox of Knowability from an Intuitionistic Standpoint” in P. Schroeder-Heister & T. Piecha (eds.) Advances in Proof-Theoretic Semantics, Springer, forthcoming.

Gabriele Usberti teaches:
– Logic and Theory of Meaning (both curricula)

Prof. Giuseppe Varnier

Giuseppe Varnier is a research fellow and lecturer in General Epistemology at the University of Siena. He studied at the University of Pisa, at at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum; he has taught courses at the Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena, at the Carl von Ossietsky Universität Oldenburg, and at the University of California at Irvine. His research is in the fields of epistemology, philosophy of mind, as well as on German Classical Philosophy.

His recent themes of research are:
– Relativism and contextualism
– Indexicality, de se attitudes, and their relationship to consciousness and self-consciousness in language
– The “naturalization” of consciousness and intentionality.

In these fields he has published a number of contributions, including:
Versuchte Hegel eine Letztbegründung? Bemerkungen zur wissenschaftliche Skepsis als Einleitung und zum Begriff einer skeptischen Wissenschaft [Was Hegel an absolute foundationalist? Considerations on the idea of scientific doubt as introduction to science, and on the concept of a skeptical science]. In: H. F. Fulda, R. P. Horstmann (eds.), Skeptizismus und spekulatives Denken in der Philosophie Hegels, 285-330. Stuttgart, Klett-Cott,a 1996.
Unity of the mental and logical identity: After Kant and Hegel. Topoi, 19/2 (2000), 157-178.
Quasi-indexicals, Kaplanian monsters, and self-consciousness. In A. Palma (ed.), (Hector-Neri) Castañeda and his Guises, 163-190. Berlin/Boston, de Gruyter, 2014.
L’intersoggettività, i valori, e l’evoluzione della mente individuale [Intersubjectivity, Values as Artefacts, and the Evolution of the Individual Mind]. In L. Tundo Ferente (ed.), Il mondo del noi. Intersoggettività, empatia, comunità nella prospettiva fenomenologica, 20-108. Roma, Studium Edizioni, 2014.

Giuseppe Varnier teaches:
– Epistemology (curriculum: Philosophy & Cognition)

giuseppe.varnier AT
room 317
Complesso S.Niccolò - Via Roma, 56 - Siena
++39 0577 234749

Prof. Cesare Zanca