about

I'm a final-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.

I work on the Urdu case system under a minimalist framework. The driving intuition behind my PhD project is that case labels, such as 'nominative', 'accusative', and so on, do not refer to completely homogenous groups, even within a single language. This picks up on the observation that each case in Urdu has multiple uses. Two main research questions emerge: (1) What are the differences between multiple uses of a single case? (2) What are the similarities between multiple uses of a single case? The first goal of this project is to provide a cohesive account of case assignment in Urdu. This project takes into consideration a wide range of constructions that are generally studied independently of each other. Taking the interaction between such phenomena into account means that analyses of individual constructions require critical evaluation and potential rework. The second goal of this project is to make contributions to case theory more generally. The detailed analysis of the complex Urdu system will provide insight into case assignment processes (Agree-based vs. dependent case), as well as insights into other current debates in case research, such as the relationship between case and agreement, and the place of case in the grammar.

education

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.

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 stands 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. I am learning German.

non-academic interests

I like cooking, baking and feeding people. I also like psychological thrillers, rom-coms and reality tv.

I was vice-president of the graduate student committee in my college from 2020-21. Before this, I was social secretary in 2019-20. I have a lot of experience in leadership, organising and running events, and working with teams.



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