Open Journal Systems

General Linguistics and Cartography: an Interview with Ur Shlonsky

Aquiles Tescari Neto, Núbia Ferreira Rech, Simone Guesser


This issue of Revista Letras is dedicated to the publication of some selected papers presented at the “Intermediate Meeting” of the Grammar Theory Working Group (GTTG) of the National Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Letters and Linguistics (ANPOLL), held at the Federal University of Roraima, July 2019. Currently, GTTG members are researchers from different fields (such as Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics and Language Acquisition), affiliated to Brazilian universities and institutes of research. At the 2019 meeting, in addition to discussions related more specifically to grammar theory, it was sought to establish dialogues with different ANPOLL working groups, in particular with members of the Psycholinguistics and Indigenous Languages groups. Another topic covered was grammar teaching at the Basic Education. Basic Education has been a concern of many group members, who have come up with proposals to show how grammar theory can contribute to the study of grammar and to the learning of (spoken and written) standard Portuguese.

We are delighted to interview in this issue the renowned linguist Ur Shlonsky, professor at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Geneva. His main areas of expertise are syntactic theory and comparative syntax. With research on aspects of Semitic languages syntax, especially Modern Hebrew, and work on Romance languages and Romance dialectology, Professor Shlonsky has provided important contributions to syntax theory and, more recently, to the Cartographic Approach. Among his various research topics, we can cite the syntax of null subjects, relative sentences, resumptive pronouns, cliticization and wh-interrogatives. For a more detailed view of his cv, as well as a list of some of his publications, the reader can consult the link

Surely, the topics addressed in this interview with Professor Ur Shlonsky will definitely bring important contributions to Revista Letras readers—specially those of the present issue—once some of the GTTG priority axes for the 2019-2020 biennium have been addressed in this interview. Some more personal questions make it possible for readers to know when and how Shlonsky’s interest for theoretical Linguistics—and, particularly, for cartographic studies—arose. The interview will also cover some topics on the cartographic program which are more related to Shlonsky’s current research, namely issues on the syntax of the left periphery and the study of the Subject.



Syntax; Cartography;

Texto completo:

PDF (English)