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 presented a poster on mouthings across signed languages at HDLS 14. Find my poster here.
I presented at LinG3 at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen in February of 2020!
I presented a poster on wh-questions in the Trinidad and Tobago signing community at TISLR 13
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).