Maya Ravindranath

Dr. Maya Ravindranath, an assistant professor of linguistics in the English department, has worked at the University of New Hampshire for seven years. She is a sociolinguist who studies language variation and change. “I’m interested in dialectal variation and its relationship to language change over time, particularly in cases of language endangerment,” she explained. The New Hampshire Language and Life Project grew from Dr. Ravindranath’s realization that the students in her sociolinguistics classes did not have traditional New England dialect features. Dr. Ravindranath has previously worked with a few undergraduate researchers, but this was her first time mentoring a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) recipient, as well as her first time working with an Inquiry author. She believes that writing for Inquiry’s broader audience is, “without question,” useful for students in the field of linguistics. “The ability to translate your research into language that is widely accessible is important for anyone. For students, the ability to explain what they learn in their classes to a broader audience is a key part of the learning process,” Dr. Ravindranath said.