I am a third year PhD student of linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor advised by Dr. Savithry Namboodiripad and working with the Contact, Cognition and Change Lab and the Cognition, Convergence and Language Evolution research group.
I am interested in language contact, specifically contact between different modalities e.g. the modality of spoken languages and the modality of signed languages. My most recent research is a cross-linguistic survey of how a multimodal contact phenomenon is manifested across 37 signed languages (see a preview of this work in the video below). I am also interested in how minoritised languages like creole and signed languages are discussed and taught in linguistics, and the development of categories in linguistics. In future work, I will investigate mental representation of multimodal units and the relationship between production and perception.
Here are some of my recent activities.
I will be participating in the Linguistic Typology and Diversity: Theory, methods, and ethics in sign language typology workshop convened by Dr. Erin Wilkinson & Dr. Lynn Hou at the 14th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology that will take place from December 15th-17th 2022 in Austin, Texas. I am part of a group presenting "Deconstructing notions of morphological ‘complexity': lessons from signed and spoken languages" authored by Felicia Bisnath, Marah Jaraisy,Hannah Lutzenberger, Rehana Omardeen & ,Adam Schembri
I gave a talk at the Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory conference that will take place from December 16th-18th 2021. My talk is titled "Language ideology and language documentation in sign language typology" [video] [slides] [abstract].
I presented a poster on mouthings across signed languages at the High Desert Linguistics Society 14 conference. Find my poster here.
Sign languages, like creoles, have been minoritised in linguistics. This makes perspectives on creoles the potential to illuminate the study of sign languages. A common way that sign languages are divided is into deaf and rural groups, based on social criteria. This distinction makes relationships between social and linguistic properties relevant. This paper investigates one such causal relationship, specifically whether extent of contact with spoken language(s) via institutionalised education translates into higher prevalence of the silent articulation of spoken words, mouthing. Across 37 sign languages (26 deaf; 11 rural) mouthing is prevalent regardless of language type, having been reported in 35 languages (25 deaf; 10 rural). This suggests that differences in language emergence do not produce a structural difference in terms of mouthing. Language documentation should include description of contact phenomena and ideologies, and comparison can avoid stereotyping of language groups based on tokenised cases (de facto prototypes).