MA Research

As part of the Field Methods course in the Semester III and the Project-based courses of the Semester IV of our MA Linguistics programme, the students undertake the study of a relatively understudied language. Every year, the students collect the data from a primary language consultant engaged by the Department, followed by Field Work in the place of residence of the consultant or the community speaking that language. In addition to the use of existing data elicitation techniques and questionnaires, the students also design their own questionnaires; they record, transcribe and gloss the data; and finally analyze the data to write grammatical sketches of various aspects of the language. Each student writes a dissertation in each of the two semesters, based on the data collected of such a language and their analysis of the language.

In the current year (2022-23), the students undertook the study of Multani (aka Saraiki) language, as spoken in Mumbai and Delhi. Multani is an Indic (Lahnda branch) language, being spoken in parts of Pakistan (Multan region of Pakistan’s Punjab province) as well as in several parts of India. There is a sizable number of Multani speakers in Mumbai. However, this language is not being transferred to the younger generations of speaker. Today, mostly the fluent speakers are those who have migrated and settled in India from Pakistan during the late 1940’s. Our primary language consultant this year was Mrs Lalita Chawla Roy (74 yrs). We could not have asked for more enlightened and friendly consultant to work with. In the month of March, the students went to New Delhi to meet with several Multani speaking families, along with the faculty members and our PhD scholar Anusha.

In Semester III, every the student wrote a dissertation constituting of a basic sketch of phonological and morphological structure of Multani language. In Semester IV, each student chose to look into a different aspect of Multani language, and wrote a dissertation on the chosen topic. Here is a list of the topics they conducted their research on:

No Student's name Title of the dissertation
1.Ashwini TondreA Study of Morphological Parsing of Multani Verbs using Finite State Automata
2.Chandrima KayalThe Case Missal Pav: A variety
of Stimuli
Case System in Multani
3.Jenis RumaoSpatial Expressions in Multani
4.Nidhi Masaliya“Who are WE?”
A Mini World of Chaos : Pronouns in
5.Niveditha VarmaNegation in Multani
6.Ranjana ParmarExpressions of Aspect in Multani
7.Ritu SharmaClustered Curiosity : exploring Multani's syllable structure through sonority
8.Sahil PatelWhat are we?
Defining the Relationship :
Grammatical Relation in Multani
9.Saylee PatilA Comparison of Two Translation Strategies (translations of Multani to English)
10.Soujanya PatroSemiotic Analysis of Multani Texts
11.Spandan PattnaikThe Modal Model : an account of modality in Multani
12.Tejaswee PatilGrammatical Gender in Multani