Sandhya Sundaresan. Linguist.


I am a syntactician and fieldworker. One of the languages I focus on is Tamil, a Non-IndoEuropean language of the Dravidian family, which I also speak natively. 
















Curriculum Vitae (January 2021)


Funding for new Germany/UK research project: 


Our research project "Locality and the argument/adjunct distinction: Structure-building vs. structure-enrichment" has recently been funded by the German (DFG) and UK (AHRC) research agencies. This funding will allow me, together with Hedde Zeijlstra in Göttingen, Thomas McFadden at ZAS, Berlin, and Robert Truswell in Edinburgh, and post-docs we will hire to work in Berlin and Edinburgh, to investigate issues of selective opacity as they apply to A and A-bar dependencies across adjuncts and complements. We will use an algorithm of path-based locality which is built on a framework  of clausal structure-building (based on feature-checking under sisterhood) and structure-enrichment (involving a principled dependency between feature-checking and feature-valuation) to derive selective opacity effects, and to understand the nature of syntactic locality more broadly. 

For more information about the project, check out these slides from a mini-course on these issues that I co-taught with Thomas McFadden at the University of Cambridge last year.  [PDF]. 

Ongoing Research: 

  • Journal article (under review). A new theory of indexical shift. [draft, PDF]​​​

  • Handbook article (invited, in prep). Probes & Goals. Cambridge Handbook of Minimalism. CUP.

  • Journal article (in prep). “The AAE and its consequences for the syntax of agreement and anaphora” (with Hedde Zeijlstra). Glossa Special Collection: The Grammar of Agree(ment) and Reference.

  • Edited volume (in prep). Glossa Special Collection: The Grammar of Agree(ment) and Reference (with Hedde Zeijlstra).

  •  Journal article (in prep). "Unifying species of complementizer agreement" (with Thomas McFadden). 

  • Research collaboration (in prep). Anaphor Agreement Effect (phase II), with Hedde Zeijlstra

Recent & Upcoming Papers: 

  • Journal article (To Appear). Proxy Control: a new species of control in grammar (with Aaron Doliana). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. [preprint: here]

  • Survey Article (invited, To Appear (2021)). Shifty attitudes: indexical shift vs. perspectival anaphora. Annual Review of LinguisticsVol. 7. [draft, PDF

Recent & Upcoming Presentations: 

  • Invited lecture (January 21, 2021): Towards a path-based theory of syntactic locality & selective opacity (with Thomas McFadden). V-NYI Winter Institute, St. Petersburg.
















I received my Ph.D. in 2013, jointly from the University of Tromsø and the University of Stuttgart. From October 2013- early January 2020,  I worked as Assistant  Professor (Juniorprofessorin)  in Syntax at the University of Leipzig. I live in Berlin, but travel to India whenever I can.

You can reach me at:                                                                                                                

​   My 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 morphology and semantics, within a modular grammar?

  2. What can dialectal and crosslinguistic variation tell us about how a given phenomenon should be syntactically modelled?


  •  From 2021, I will be a researcher at the University of Göttingen on the project LASER: "Locality and the argument/adjunct distinction: Structure building vs. structure-enrichment" (see below for details).

  • From 2022, I will be Assistant Professor of Linguistics & also occupy the Anandavalli & Dr. G. Swaminathan Endowed Research Professorship at Stony Brook University, NY. 

Homepage of Sandhya Sundaresan.