Career grant

NSF-CAREER-1255547 has two broad goals: First, it seeks to understand and explicate the nature of the linguistic transition from the Late Middle Indo-Aryan period to the New Indo-Aryan period, focusing on the evolution of the semantic systems of tense, aspect, and modality (TAM). Second, it aims to re-imagine our conception of (some subgroups of) the Indo-Aryan family by bringing some of its under documented, non-literate languages and their speaker communities into the fore via directed documentation and theoretical analysis. The multi-pronged research proposed here will provide the empirical and theoretical foundation for a longer term research program, which seeks to synthesize insights from semantic theory and language change with the diachronic perspective afforded by the 3000-year old rich and continuous Indo-Aryan linguistic record. The investigations carried out will lead to a solid body of disseminable results about Indo-Aryan diachrony, synchronic variation, and semantic change. Specific projects being carried out at the moment include:

  • The Digital Corpus of Old Marathi (DCOMA): This corpus is a searchable collection of lemmatized Old Marathi texts.  The basic dictionary is built on Tulpule and Feldhaus (2000) with the data kindly provided by James Nye.  It includes a morphological analyzer built from descriptions of  the Old Marathi grammar  in Tulpule 1960 and Master 1964. The dictionary and the analyzer are  continuously being enriched and corrected manually as more and more textual material is added to the corpus. Over the next 18 months, we expect the corrected and analyzed corpus to grow to approximately 300.000 words. Access is currently password-restricted. Please contact me for access to the corpus.
  • The Digital Corpus of  Middle Indo-Aryan: At the initial stage of this project, I am undertaking the construction of the electronic versions  of two texts from the Early Middle Indo-Aryan period – the Vasudevahindi of Sanghadasagani (~600 CE), and the Kuvalayamala of Uddyotanasuri (779 CE).
  • Indo-Aryan Resources: A collection of digitally available grammars  and linguistically oriented articles for Indo-Aryan languages focusing on the Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan periods. The material available is mostly in the public domain and has been organized here to facilitate research in Indo-Aryan historical-comparative linguistics.
  • Comparative descriptions of  Indo-Aryan tense/aspect/modality systems for  seven Bhili and Khandeshi languages: Ahirani, Chodri, Dehawali Bhili, Kukna Dang, Noiri, Pawri, Rathwi. These are in preparation.