Sandhya Sundaresan

Sandhya Sundaresan is Assistant Professor of LInguistics and Anandavalli & Dr. G. Swaminathan Endowed Research Professor in Tamil at Stony Brook University. 

She is a syntactician and fieldworker. Her research program  explores two broad questions: 

    1. For a given grammatical phenomenon, what is the nature of interaction and division of labor between syntax and its interfaces with semantics? 
    2. What can dialectal and crosslinguistic variation tell us about how a given phenomenon should be syntactically modelled?

Within this broader agenda, her research has focussed primarily on A-syntax, the syntax of arguments and their (extended) predicates. A central concern of such research is the syntactic modelling of reference: what its formal ingredients are, what factors it is influenced by, and where in the modular grammar it should be represented.

Sundaresan's approach is predominantly data-driven, and deals with primary natural language data collected and analyzed via fieldwork and experimental elicitations from native speaker consultants. Much of this data comes from Tamil, a Non-Indo-European language of the Dravidian family spoken in Southern India, Sri Lanka and diaspora communities around the world. As part of her secondary appointment as endowed professor in Tamil studies, she is committed to promoting linguistic research into varieties of Colloquial (Spoken) Tamil both at Stony Brook and the surrounding community. As part of this agenda, she plans to establish a research field-station in Tamil Nadu, India where visiting researchers can study aspects of Tamil language and culture by living and interacting with the rural Tamil community in that region. 

She holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Tromsø & the University of Stuttgart