Caterina Bonan

Bonan C

College Research Associate
Research interestsMy field is theoretical linguistics and my work is set against Noam Chomsky’s nativist approach to human language. Accordingly, there exists an inborn cognitive capacity for language that requires minimal environmental stimulation for linguistic competence to develop during the early years of life. In this framework, seemingly different grammatical structures in the languages of the world are assumed to differ along fairly simple lines. More specifically, my work falls within so-called cartography, i.e. the attempt to draw maps of syntactic configurations that are as precise and detailed as possible. Because of its universal nature, all work stemming from the cartographic program is based firmly on the evidence coming from comparative and typological studies. My work has so far focussed on Romance comparative syntax, creolistics, dialectology, syntactic theory, and linguistic change. I have a doctoral dissertation on Northern Italian wh-questions, and I am now working on the morphosyntax of cleft questions in the Romance languages, under the supervision of Professor Adam Ledgeway. Information on my current research is available here: