Ulysses Galvez

Graduate Student

Welcome to my page! My name is Ulysses Galvez, and I am Ph.D. Student in the Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL henceforth) program, linguistics-focused. Upon graduating from the University of Washington, Seattle campus with my double major in Spanish and Linguistics, I set my sights high to study here to pursue what I had considered my lifelong pursuit and passion: languages. Languages provide us with the very working framework of knowledge itself and afford us the ability to share knowledge with others. Moreover, through language, we can laugh, we can love, we can persuade, we can learn, and so much more. Without language, how could we possibly reason fruitfully about the nature of all these concepts and ideas and more profoundly the nature of ourselves? In addition to this framework, how can language convey so much about myself to you who is reading this in such a short paragraph? All this and more make clear the beauty that language portrays, and these are principal reasons for having driven me to the RLL program as it pertains to the Romance Languages specifically, which we recognize today as Spanish, French, Occitan, Sardinian, Romaninan, Italian, and all others which derive from the ancient Vulgar Latin spoken millennia ago.

Why Romance Languages? Also Linguistics?

Let’s start with linguistics, the scientific study of language. Ferdinand de Saussure, the Father of Modern Linguistics, believed that there were actually two types of languages that we have come to know today as I-language (Langue) and E-languages (Parole). I-language work has largely been influenced by Noam Chomsky, a great inspiration for my studies, and E-Language work has largely been influenced by Willaim Labov, another great inspiration for my studies. I-language is something inherent in everyone, and everyone has one as a mental model in their mind according to modern theory, while E-language is the realization of this I-language based on the variation present in the world’s languages. For a more extensive review of this, I suggest reviewing Noam Chomsky’s work and Willaim Labov’s work for more specifics, both pioneers in their respective fields of modern linguistics. 1 Now onto the Romance Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, and French (in progress) which are my foci. I choose to focus on these languages as each has a special place in my heart. Spanish was the first language I acquired after English and came as a result of significant exposure to it as a child/adolescent. I decided in 8th grade to formally study it and have kept up with it for the last decade or so. Portuguese came as a surprise through my selection to live in Brazil as an international exchange student through Rotary International after graduating high school. Throughout the year, I experienced, lived, and breathed Brazilian culture, always striving to learn more about this beautiful country and the people who inhabit it. During my time in Brazil, I came into contact with a significant number of French-speaking people. I had never heard French spoken so fluently and in person, and the friendliness of these people brought a desire in me to learn more.

Research Agenda

Currently, I would describe myself as a linguistically-inclined semiotician: much like Ferdinand de Sausserre’s occupation. He believed that this was the goal of linguistics, so I found it wise to heed this advice. Currently, the structure of how signs are organized in the mind (Minimalism from Noam Chomsky) and the realization of signs in varying environments according to how our linguistic repertoire takes it (Variationism from William Labov) are parts of my agenda. Nonetheless, Sociology as it pertains to networks of people, Psychology as it relates to the language and the mind, and even Language and Politics continue to be areas of interest.

I thank you for reading my profile. Feel free to reach me at