Research and Teaching

Linguistics Books

XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar: Scrambling and Binding in Hindi-Urdu. Richard Kayne (ed.) Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. New York: Oxford University Press. 2000.

Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. Anvita Abbi, R.S. Gupta, Ayesha Kidwai (eds.). Motilal Banarsidas, 2001.

  • 2014-2019: Senior Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia, Linguistics.
    2019–: Member, Advisory Board, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia, Linguistics.

Select articles/ talks/ handouts in linguistics


  • Grierson and the Linguistic Survey of India: Pre-Life and After-Life, keynote address at the SALA 36 & LSN 43 conferences.
  • Book discussion on Hinglish Live! 📹
  • Labeling vP: Objects and Expletives in Hindi-Urdu, keynote talk at the GLOW in Asia XIII 2022 Online Special conference.
  • Panelist, on the discussion of the book Linguistic Diversity in South and Southeast Asia, edited by Anvita Abbi and Kapila Vatsyayan (video). 📹
  • Child language acquisition: Cross-linguistic evidence for Universal Grammar. Co-authored with Benu Pareek and Yangchen Roy. In Rama Kant Agnihotri and Rajesh Kumar edited Language, Mind, Society: A Reader for Students of Language and Education, pp. 54-70. Orient BlackSwan.
  • Unlabeled structures and scrambling asymmetries: Hindi-Urdu style. In Samir Alam, Yash Sinha and Sadhwi Srinivas edited Proceedings of (F)ASAL-11, Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 2022.
  • Language identity and language endangerment: Some thoughts on dealing with India’s linguistic diversity. Department of Linguistics and English, University of Jaffna (online), February 21.


  • Imagining the multilingual university, Social Text 39.4(149), pp.110-11.
  • Being Janus: Some thoughts on the papers by Agnihotri, Heugh, Panda and Shahani. Panel discussion on Education and Inequality: Historical and Contemporary Trajectories, Orient Blackswan, October 1. , 📹


  • Life to Indian Languages: A linguist responds to Javed Majeed’s study of Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India. Economic and Political Weekly, 55.42, pp.40-48.
  • Doubling back: Santali pronominal incorporation and clitic doubling. Centre for Applied Linguistics & Translation Studies web-talk series Syntax-Semantics: Theoretical insights and Applications for Indian languages, University of Hyderabad, August 26. , 📹


  • Urdu (encyclopaedia entry). In Jack S. Damico and Martin J. Ball (eds.) SAGE Encyclopedia of Human Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • Leftward vs. rightward syntactic movement: The evidence from Hindi- Urdu. International Symposium on Formal Linguistics, School of Foreign Studies, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China. 27 November.
  • The People’s Linguistic Survey of India volumes: Neither linguistics, nor a successor to Grierson’s LSI, but still a point of reference. Social Change, 49.1, pp.154-159.
  • What we know we don’t know about the acquisition of language? A dialogue between generative and cultural-cognitive approach to language acquisition and language pedagogy. Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 29 March.


  • COMP-Lex Subordination: A theoretical account of SAY based complementisers. Plenary talk at South Asia in Generative Grammar: A Workshop in Memory of Alice Davison and James Gair, at SALA 34, University of Konstanz, Germany, June 20 (slides)


  • Languages or mother tongues? India’s linguistic diversity. In JNUTA edited What the Nation Really Needs to Know: The JNU Nationalism Lectures, pp. 40-48. HarperCollins India (prefinal version).
  • Fetishizing (Linguistic) Diversity: Some reflections on the Indian Instance. XXVII Congress of the International Federation of Languages and Literatures, India International Centre, New Delhi, March 15.


  • The question of language in education. Economic and Political Weekly, 51.35 pp.40-43.
  • Introduction to the formal syntax, semantics, and morphology of South Asian languages (edited with Emily Manetta); special issue of Linguistic Analysis, 40 (3-4).
  • Verb agreement in Hindi and its acquisition (jointly with Benu Pareek and Sonja Eisenbeiss). Journal of South Asian Languages, Rahul Balusu and Sandhya Sundaresan edited Proceedings of FASAL-5, pp. 196-215.
  • The Core Hindi Case-Markers. Hindi Language and Linguistics 3, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, September 14.


  • Recovering hybrid histories in cosmopolitan spaces. In Rama Kant Agnihotri, Claudia Benthem, and Tatiana Orenskaia edited “Impure languages”: linguistic and literary hybridity in contemporary cultures, pp. 234-255. Orient Blackswan.
  • The Acquisition of Verb Agreement in Hindi (joint work with Sonja Eisenbeiss and Benu Pareek). Rutgers Centre for Cognitive Science, 8 Sept.


  • The linguistics and politics of mixed codes. Hinglish workshop, Sarai, CSDS, and SOAS. 🔊,
  • Why say that: Say-based complementizers and their Extended Projections: The evidence from Bangla and Meiteilon. Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 4, University of Rutgers, New Brunswick, March 29.
  • Knowing the world through language (and laughter). Workshop on Language Description and Sciences, KMI institute of Hindi and Linguistics, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University Agra, August 8.


  • Chomsky’s Innateness Hypothesis: Implications for Language Learning and Teaching. Language and Language Teaching, 2.1, pp 57-61.
  • Remarks on A Grammar of the Great Andamanese Language: An Ethnolinguistic Study by Anvita Abbi. Jawaharlal Nehru University, November 7.
  • EX-It: On the syntax of finite clause extraposition and pronominal correlates in Hindi and Bangla. Dept. of Linguistics, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, April 25.


  • Hindi-Urdu -wala: Just a Description. Ms.
  • Merge and Extrapose: Scrambling and Wh-construal of Hindi,Bangla and Malayalam finite complements. Department of Linguistics, University College London, March 7.


  • The case for Hindustani revisited. In Imtiaz Hasnain and Shrees Chaudhury edited Problematizing Language Studies: Cultural, Theoretical and Applied Perspective (Essays in Honour of Rama Kant Agnihotri), pp. 160-168. Aakar Books.
  • Unaccusativity Lite: Deadjectival Predication in Hindi-Urdu. Workshop on Complex Predicates in South Asian Languages, ICON 2011, IIT Madras, Chennai.
  • Cutting Edge(s): Clausal complements, extraposition, and wh-movement in Hindi and Bangla. GLOW in Asia Workshop for Young Scholars Mie University, Japan, September 7.
  • Towards an adpositional analysis of Hindi Layer II Case particles: Some Remarks on -se and –ko. Essex JNU-Konstanz Workshop on Case and Elicitation Techniques, Department of Linguistics, University of Essex, June 14.
  • Remarks on Tariq Rahman’s From Hindi to Urdu. Centre for Linguistics, Jawahalarlal Nehru University, February 24.


  • The cartography of phases. In Anna-Maria di Scuillo and Virginia Hill edited Edges in Syntax, pp. 233–262, John Benjamins.
  • Morphological case is structural: The Case of Hindi accusative –ko. In Universals and Variation, Beijing Language and Culture University Press.


  • Knowledge of language: Noam Chomsky’s ideas of innateness. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 5.2, pp. 245-265.
  • Review of GDS Anderson’s The Munda Verb: Typological Perspectives. In Rajendra Singh edited Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 2008, pp. 267-72. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Managing multilingual India. The Marxist XXIV.2, pp. 1-7.
  • The morphosyntax of classifier systems in Indian languages. Computational Grammatical Models for Indian Languages, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, June 10.


  • Review of Rama Kant Agnihotri’s Hindi: An Essential Grammar. In Rajendra Singh edited Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 2007, pp.149-55. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Mind, Knowledge and Morality. Cognition & Learning: Theory & Practice, Vidya Bhawan Society, Udaipur, October 6.


  • Root and Embedded Left Peripheries: Evidence from Malayalam and Meiteilon (with Rosmin Mathew). Interface Legibility at the Edge, University of Bucharest, June 27.
  • Relating to Relatives: The Cyclicity of SIMPL (with Rosmin Mathew). Interphases, University of Bucharest, May 19.
  • Missing the forest for the trees: Malayalam and English relatives (with Rosmin Mathew) Proceedings of MSPIL’06, pp. 196-215. IIT Bombay.


  • The topic interpretation in Universal Grammar. In Anoop Mahajan and Veneeta Dayal edited Clause Structure in South Asian Languages, pp.253-289. Mouton de Gruyter
  • Santali Backernagel clitics. In Rajendra Singh and Tanmoy Bhattacharya edited The Yearbook of South Asian Languages, pp.189–207. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • The finest structure of the left periphery: Complementizers and Interrogation in Hindi, Malayalam, Sinhala & Meiteilon (with Rosmin Mathew). V Asian GLOW, Jawaharlal Nehru University, October 5.


  • Whose language is Urdu? Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics 24.


  • Word order and focus positions in Universal Grammar. In Georges Rebuschi and Laurie Tuller edited The Grammar of Focus, pp.213–245. John Benjamins.


  • Binding and Free Word Order Phenomena in Hindi and Urdu. PhD dissertation.

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