My name is Savithry Namboodiripad and I'm Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Starting in Fall of 2019, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department here at Michigan.
I am interested in how languages change when they come into contact, and what language contact can tell us about language evolution. In my dissertation, I introduced a cross-linguistically valid operational measure of flexibility in constituent order. I take a comparative and experimental approach to ask 1) what the scope of cross-linguistic variation is when it comes to flexibility in constituent order and 2) what the role of language contact is in mediating this variation. In order to understand how these patterns play out on a large scale, I connect language policy and ideology with language use and change.
My research has focused on Malayalam (a Dravidian language which is an official language in Kerala, India, and an official language of my family in Minnesota, United States), but I also have ongoing research on loanword adaptation, gesture and conventionalization, crosslinguistic variation in island effects, and verb acquisition!
Namboodiripad, S., Kim, D., & Kim, G. (forthcoming). English-dominant Korean-speakers show reduced flexibility in constituent order. In Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society.
Namboodiripad, S., Lenzen, D., Lepic, R., & Verhoef, T. (2016). Measuring conventionalization in the manual modality. Journal of Language Evolution.
Namboodiripad, S., Garellek, M. (2016). Illustrations of the IPA: Malayalam (Namboodiri Dialect). Journal of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Goldin-Meadow, S., Namboodiripad, S., Mylander, C., Özyürek, A., & Sancar, B. (2014). The resilience of structure built around the predicate: Homesign gesture systems in Turkish and American deaf children. Journal of Cognition and Development.