Research seminar: Current trends in syntax I

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Cognitive Science of Language

Objectives and competences

The primary goal of this course is to familiarize the students with the most relevant issues of modern syntactic theory. The acquired competences are:
-Ability to critically think about a given linguistic topic and finding theoretically relevant data
-Ability to solve specific theoretical linguistic problems.
Lectures are organized as a weekly or biweekly intensive course.


Introduction to syntax


Results of the current linguistic investigations by the worldwide known linguists.

Intended learning outcomes

-Knowledge of current topics and problems in contemporary syntactic theory.
-Understanding the differences in manifestation of the universal grammatical principles in a concrete language or language family
-Experience with working with non-native language data, also with speakers of a selected language



Active participation at the lectures (50%) -final project whose topic is connected with the content of the course (50%) During the intensive course students present their own research on the topic of the seminar. Before the start of the intensive course, students must read and work through the required literature on their own. This literature includes scientific articles that will be discussed during the course.

Lecturer's references

zaslužni profesor za področje jezikoslovja na Univerzi v Ženevi
Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the University of Geneva

1. SHLONSKY, Ur. Cartography and selection in subjunctives and interrogatives. In: Si, F. & Rizzi, L. (Ed.). Current Issues in Syntactic Cartography : A crosslinguistic perspective. Amsterdam : John Benjamins, 2021. p. 15-25.
2. (Linguisik aktuell = Linguistics today; 267) doi: 10.1075/la.267.02shl
3. SHLONSKY, Ur, VILLATA, Sandra, FRANCK, Julie. Covert Movement in Multiple-Wh Questions: Experimental and Theoretical Investigations. In: Syntax, 2020, vol. 23, n° 2, p. 185-202. doi: 10.1111/synt.12192
4. SHLONSKY, Ur, BOCCI, Giuliano. Syntactic cartography. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics.[s.l.] : [s.n.], 2019. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.310
5. SHLONSKY, Ur, (ed.). Beyond Functional Sequence. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015. (Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. Cartography of Syntactic Structures; 10)
6. SHLONSKY, Ur. Hebrew as a partial null-subject language. In: Studia linguistica, 2009, vol. 63, n° 1, p. 133-157. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9582.2008.01156.x
7. SHLONSKY, Ur. Remarks on the complementizer layer of Standard Arabic. In: Lecarme, J., Lowenstamm, J. & Shlonsky, U. (Ed.). Research in Afroasiatic Grammar. Amsterdam : Benjamins, 2000. p. 325-343.
8. SHLONSKY, Ur. Clause Structure and Word Order in Hebrew and Arabic: An Essay in Comparative Semitic Syntax. New York : Oxford University Press, 1997. (Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax)