Gautam Ottur

I have been a member of the Sign Lab at the University of Göttingen and a member of the Research Training Group 2636: “Form-meaning mismatches” since the fall of 2021. My doctoral research project broadly concerns multi-verb constructions across sign languages and spoken languages, and more specifically focuses on a comparison of the syntax and semantics of verb series in my native language, Malayalam, and German Sign Language (DGS). My work exists at the intersection of many levels of linguistic abstraction, including prosody, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics to varying degrees. As such, I am interested in what kinds of fundamental cognitive mechanisms can be used to map conceptual meaning onto perceptible form, and the impact of modality on these mechanisms.

Prior to joining at the University of Göttingen, I first completed a Bachelor's degree in linguistics at McGill University, and then a Master's degree in linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, I worked toward typological descriptions and theoretical analyses of various issues in Malayalam. I wrote my Master's thesis on a syntactic analysis of Malayalam verb series in 2021 under the supervision of Enoch Aboh. Since then, I have been interested in documenting and explaining phenomena in understudied minority languages, and understanding the effects of multilingual contexts on grammar.