about

I'm a second year linguistics PhD student at the University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College). I work on minimalist syntax and morphology. My PhD project is on the Urdu case system. My supervisors are Theresa Biberauer and Ian Roberts and my advisor is Adam Ledgeway.

I am funded by the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship.

Download my CV here.

research interests

My primary research areas are case systems and Urdu syntax. Other research interests include decomposition of the verbal domain, word order, and South Asian linguistics.

My PhD project aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Urdu case system under a minimalist framework, in particular, focusing on the differences between Hindi and Urdu which have gone largely undiscussed in the literature. The main intuition is that case features (e.g. nominative, accusative) are not opaque, but rather are formed of bundles of sub-features (e.g. ±finite, ±definite) which are checked by functional heads (e.g. T, v). Manipulating the sub-features allows us to capture similarities in the behaviour of nominals with different case forms and differences between the behaviour of nominals with the same case forms.

education

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed my masters (2018-19), also at the University of Cambridge. My MPhil thesis was supervised by Theresa Biberauer and focused on accusative case in Hindi-Urdu. It was the first attempt at developing a composite case-checking approach for nominative, ergative and accusative cases in Urdu. You can download my MPhil thesis here.

Before coming to Cambridge, I was at University College London (UCL) for my undergraduate degree (2015-18). My BA thesis was titled Case-(Mis)Matching in Urdu Sluicing and was supervised by Klaus Abels. I introduced novel data from Urdu sluicing and showed that there must be syntactic structure in the ellipsis-site and that it must be in a semantic identity relation to its antecedent. The thesis won the Outstanding Undergraduate Dissertation in Linguistics prize from the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB). The dissertation was later developed into a working paper and published in The Cambridge Occasional Papers in Linguistics (COPiL). You can find it here.

languages

I am a native speaker of Urdu and (Pakistani) English.

non-academic interests

I like cooking, baking and knitting (I am basically a grandma). I also like psychological thrillers, rom-coms and reality tv.

At university, I am vice-president of the graduate student committee in my college (Fitzwilliam College MCR). Before this, I was social secretary (2019-20). I have a lot of experience in leading and working with teams, and organising and running events, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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