Rajesh Kumar


Associate Professor
Room No.: HSB 345
Phone : +91 (44) 2257 4537
Email : rajesh@iitm.ac.in



Academic Background:

  • Ph.D. (Linguistics), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.Phil. (Linguistics), University of Delhi
  • M.A. (Linguistics), University of Delhi

Research interests:

  • Natural Language Syntax and Typology of South Asian Languages
  • Multilingualism in Education, Landscape, Human Cognition and Politics


  • Department (HSS)
    Advanced Linguistics (Spring 13, Spring 14, Spring 15, Fall 15, Fall 17)Applied Linguistics (Fall 13, Spring 15, Spring 16, Spring 17)Introduction to Linguistics (Fall 13, Fall 14, Fall 15, Fall 17)Principles and Parameters of Natural Language (Spring 14, Spring 15, Spring 16, Spring 17, Spring 18)Language and Society in India (Fall 14, Spring 17)Coordinator for English (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017)Philosophy of Mind (Fall 2014, Fall 2015)English Phonetics and Phonology (Fall 2015, Spring 17, Spring 18)
  • Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) for National Program on Technologically Enhanced Learning (NPTEL- An MHRD Initiative)
    Language and Mind (2015, 2016 and 2017, 2018)Language and Society (2015)Applied Linguistics (2016, 2017)Better Spoken English (2018)

Honours and Awards:

  • Fellow of the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Chair (2002-03) in the Department of Asian Studies and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, U.S.A.
  • Henry Kahane award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant 2001, Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, U.S.A.
  • ‘Ranked as Excellent Teaching Assistant by students’ in Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 (Published in Daily Illini) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, U.S.A.
  • Awarded Eligibility for Lectureship in June 1997 by the University Grants Commission of India, New Delhi, India.

Editorial Committees:

  • Guest Editor (with Suranjan Barua), Language and Language Teaching [Volume 5, Number 1, Issue 12, July 2017 (ISSN No. 2277-307X )], Vidya Bhawan Society and Azim Premji University)
  • Guest Editor (with Suranjan Barua), Language and Language Teaching [Volume 4, Number 2, Issue 8, July 2015 (ISSN No. 2277-307X )], Vidya Bhawan Society and Azim Premji University)
  • Review Editor (2010-2013), Language and Language Teaching (ISSN No. 2277-307X ), Vidya Bhawan Society and Azim Premji University)
  • Member Editorial Board (2010-xxxx), Language and Language Teaching (ISSN No. 2277-307X ), Vidya Bhawan Society and Azim Premji University)

Books (Published):

    1. Kumar, R. (2006). Negation and licensing of negative polarity items in Hindi syntax. New York, London: Routledge.
      (This book was selected by Routledge, New York for publication in their prestigious series Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics.)
    2. Agnihotri, R.K. & Kumar, R. (2011). Some landmarks in the history of ideas — Jayant Lele lectures. Udaipur/ Bangalore: Vidya Bhawan Society, Udaipur and Azim Premji University.
      This book has been translated in Marathi under the following title: Pashchatya vicharsarninchaya itihasatil mahatvache tappe (Pune: The Unique Academy) Translators: Vidyut Bhagwat and Abhay Kanta
    3. Singh, S.K. & Kumar, R., Prakash, O., & Lalremzami, C. (2017). Linguistic Ecology of Mizoram. Guwahati: EBH (Eastern Book House) Publishers.
    4. Om Prakash and Kumar, R. (2018). Linguistic Foundations of Identity: Readings in Language, Literature, and Contemporary Cultures, Aakar Publications, New Delhi.

    Books (In contract):

    1. Language, Identity and Contemporary Society (Co-edited with Om Prakash) by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK [IN CONTRACT]
    2. Text, Context and Constructing Identity (Co-edited with Om Prakash) by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK [IN CONTRACT]
    3. Language, Mind, and Society (Co-authored with R K Agnihotri) by Vidya Bhawan Society Udaipur with support from Sir Ratan Tata Trust (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mumbai.

    Teaching Experience

    • I I T Madras (2012- xxxx)
    • I I T Patna (2009-2012)
    • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Visiting Faculty for Summer)
    • Visiting Faculty Osaka University, Osaka, Japan (2016)
    • I I T Kanpur (2006-2007)
    • University of Texas at Austin (2002-2006 and 2007-2009)

    PhD Dissertation Supervision


    1. Nilu: Complex Predicates in Magahi (Degree Awarded in October 2013 at IIT Patna)
    2. Reshma Tabassum: Teaching English in Secondary Schools: A Sociolinguistic Profile of the City of Darbhanga (Degree Awarded in April 2013, Mithila University, Darbhanga)
    3. Lata Atreya:  Aspects of Magahi Syntax (Degree Awarded in January 2016 at IIT Patna)
    4. Shaivya Singh: Sociolinguistics OF English in India  (Degree Awarded in February 2016 at IIT Patna)

    Under Way

    1. Francis Monsang (IIT Madras in January 2018)
      Aspects of Monsang Grammar
    1. Sansuma Bramha (IIT Madras in January 2017)
      Title (Syntax of Negation in Tibeto-Burman Languages)
    1. Elizabeth Eldho (IIT Madras in January 2017)
      Title (Second/First Language Acquisition in Malayalam)
    1. Tanima Bagchi (IIT Madras in January 2015)
      Title (Honorificity and Politeness in Santali)
    1. Praveen Singh (IIT Madras in January 2015)
      Title (Complex Predicates in South Asian Languages)
      Co-Supervision with Professor Probal Dasgupta (Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata)
    1. Thapasya Jayaraj (IIT Madras in January 2015)
      Title: Dialects of Malayalam
    1. Ajit Narayan (IIT Madras in January 2015)
      Title (Technology Applications in Language Learning)
    1. Gargi Roy (IIT Madras in January 2015)
      Title: Aspects of Kokborok Syntax
    1. Mayuri Dilip (IIT Madras in July 2014):
      Title: Aspects of Santali Syntax

    MA Dissertation Supervision

    Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai

    1. Remil Hembram (2017-18) Negation in Santali
    2. Arun Balaji (2017-18) Language, Education, and Politics in Tamil Nadu
    3. Sruthi KV (2017-18) Sounds in Malabar Malayalam
    4. Sristhika Prakash (2017-18) Autism and Language Learning
      (Joint Supervision with Hemchandran Karah)
    5. Arya Padmam (2015-16): Education in Kottoor: The Phenomenon of School Dropouts
    6. Purvi Oraon (2015-16): Santali and Kuruk: A Descriptive Account
    7. Kavin Aadithiyan (2014-15): Retention of First Language among Badaga High Schoolers
    8. Dhivya Jothi (2014-15): On Esperanto: The Fall and Rise
    9. Karthika Satyanathan (2014-15): Beyond the Language Tussle: An Enquiry into the Nature, Attitudes and Beliefs about Language in Education
    10. Anu Joshy (2013-14): Learning Hindi in Kerala: A Case of Second Language Acquisition
    11. Manish Kumar (2013-14): Influence of English on Hindi in Modern Short Stories

    Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

    1. Subhashini Rajasekaran (2015): Multilingualism and language learning practices in an urban Indian school: A case analyzing the underlying patterns and structure of language acquisition in primary school
    2. Alomi Yepthomi (2015): Incorporation of Nagamese in Teaching at an English medium School
    3. Nilam Gosavi (2015): The Decreasing Number of Marathi Medium Schools in Mumbai
    4. Harshila Badole (2015): Structural differences between Zadi Boli and Marathi
    5. Raghu Ram (2015): Does Multilingual Class Enhance Language Generative Capacity?
    6. Deepjyoti Sonu Bramha (2015): A comparative study of Baganiya and Assamese language; Using the principle and parameter of Universal Grammar
    7. Saiyad Karar Husain (2015): Promoting Multilingualism in Classroom
    8. Ashita Abraham (2015): Comparison of structural variation between two varieties of the Tribal Language – Kuvi Kondh spoken in Rayagada District of South Orissa
    9. Disha Menon (2014): Language, Language Pedagogy and its relation with students’ performance in the classroom
    10. Geetha, M. (2014): Language Used in a learning Improvement Program.
    11. Poornima Chaudhary (2014): Teachers’ Perception of English as Second Language.
    12. Isha (2014): Evaluating Effectiveness of Task Based Learning Approach
    13. Mercy Kamkara (2014): Learners’ Attitude toward Tangkhul.
    14. Pavithra Velpuri S. (2013): Inductive Ways of Teaching Grammar.
    15. Divya Behal (2013): Language Issues in Classroom Rooted in Multilingualism.
    16. Anusha Singh (2012): Multilinguality in Classrooms: A Case Study of Select Schools of Patna.

     Invited Talks: 

    1. 2017 ‘On Language-Mind-Culture Interface’ a workshop in the Department of English and Modern European Languages, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida. (09 November 2017)
    2. 2017 ‘On Language-Mind-Culture: Evidence from the Structure of Language’ GLA University Mathura, UP (A plenary talk in International Seminar on Language Culture, and Identity, 11 November 2017)
    3. 2017 ‘Understanding Nature of Language’ Dr. Jane Mangalam Stephen Endowment Lecture in the Department of English at the Lady Doak College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. (07 February 2017)
    4. 2016 ‘Language, Cognition, and Multilinguality’ at the Department of English and Modern European Languages, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida. (04 October 2016)
    5. 2016 ‘NPIs in Natural Language’ at Linguistics Colloquium, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi. (05 August 2016)
    6. 2016 ‘Language in/of Education: Myths, hypes, and realities’ for the State Bank of India- Youth for India Foundation at the SBI Learning Center, Bangalore.
    7. 2016 ‘Mechanism of sound production and relevance of articulatory phonetics in learning difficulties’ at CARE Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Chennai. (04 May 2016)
    8. 2016 ‘FL in Narrow Sense in Language and Cognition’ at the Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati. (11 March 2016)
    9. 2016, ‘Functional Categories and Universal Properties of Language’, at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Patna. (26 February 2016)
    10. 2016 ‘Fluidity and Variation of Language Function in Society’ K.M. Prabhakara Variar Memorial Lecture in the Department of Malayalam at the Madras University, Chennai, (10 January 2016)
    11. 2015 ‘Nature and Pedagogy of Language’ in the Annual Certificate Program on Foundation of Education, at Digantar, Jaipur (5-7 November 2015).
    12. 2015 ‘Nature and Function of Language’ at the Department of Malayalam at the Madras University, Chennai (15 October 2015)
    13. 2015 ‘ Understanding Fluidity of Language: The only way to go for education’ in the symposium on Right to Education and Future of Our Languages at the Department of Linguistics, Mumbai University, Mumbai (09-11 March 2015)
    14. 2014, ‘‘Speech is a Mirror of the Soul- as we speak, so are we’: A perspective from Nature of Language’, A Rukmani Lakshmipathy Endowment Lecture at Women’s Christian College (University of Madras) Chennai, (28 January, 2014)
    15. 2014, Language Acquisition and Multilingualism: Role of Linguistics in Language Teaching [Education], A plenary talk at the K.M. Prabhakara Variar Memorial Seminar on Dimensions of Contemporary Linguistics in the Department of Malayalam at the University of Madras, Chennai (10 January, 2014)
    16. 2013 ‘Universal Grammar and Multilingualism in Education: A Case of India’ Keynote Address at the First International Conference in English Language Education (Association for English Language Educators and Researchers) at the School of Education of the Moi University at Eldoret (Kenya) 24-27 September, 2013
    17. 2013 ‘Linguistic Theory and Form vs. Function: A Hands on Approach’, An invited focus talk at the International Student’s Conference on Linguistics in India (SCONLI-7), Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (8-10 February, 2013)
    18. 2012 ‘Nature and Structure of Language (Language in Education), Room to Read (an autonomous institution working in the field of education), New Delhi
    19. 2011 ‘Language Teaching and Theoretical Linguistics’ at the University Grants Commission Sponsored National Workshop on Globalization, National Integration and English Language Teaching in India at the J D Women’s College Patna in association with Guild of National English Writers, Editors, and Critics (GIEWEC), Kerala
    20. 2010 ‘What makes a sentence: Implications and reflections’ at the Special Center for Sanskrit Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
    21. 2010 ‘Representation of culturally sensitive information in language: Implications for resolving ambiguities’ in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi
    22. 2009 ‘Structure of language’ at the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Patna
    23. 2008 ‘Linguistic analyses and their implications for language teaching’ at Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai
    24. 2008 ‘Representations of cultural components in syntactic structures of Hindi’ at Vidya Bhawan Society Udaipur
    25. 2008 ‘Teaching a language in the context and learning from errors’ at Educational Resource Center, Vidya Bhawan Society Udaipur

     Professional Memberships:

    • Linguistic Society of America, Washington, DC
    • International Association for World Englishes Inc. (IAWE)
    • Linguistic Society of India, Pune, MH (05/09)
    • Indian Science Congress Association, Kolkata, WB (L15158)
    • Dravidian Linguistics Association of India, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
    • Association for English Studies of India
    • Indian Sociological Society, New Delhi (LMI-3452)
    • Sandarbha (Eklavya, Bhopal) (9192)
    • Forum for Teachers of English Language and Literature (FORTELL), New Delhi, India
      • Fortell is an associate of International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), UK and an affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc (TESOL)

    © 2019 Dept of HSS, IIT Madras