Asian and Asian American Studies
Shikaripur N. Sridhar
SUNY Distinguished Service Professor
Professor S.N. Sridhar is SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Professor of Linguistics and India Studies, and Director of the Center for India Studies at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He received the B.A. (Honors) in English in 1969, and the M.A. degree in English and Linguistics in 1971 in First Class, with the First Rank, both from Bangalore University, India, and Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980. He has been on the faculty of Stony Brook since 1980.
Professor Sridhar’s research relates to several areas of linguistics: theoretical linguistics (syntax of dative subjects, grammatical relations, morphology of agglutination, prefixation, level ordering, productivity), descriptive linguistics (reference grammar of Kannada), applied linguistics (language use, language acquisition, language teaching, and literary stylistics; the scope and relation to linguistic theory), psycholinguistics (cross-linguistic experimental study of cognitive universals of sentence production, models of bilingual processing), sociolinguistics (code-switching and code-mixing, language modernization, language spread), historical linguistics (acquisition of subjecthood, contact-induced language change, linguistic convergence ), history of linguistics (contributions of the Indian grammatical tradition to modern linguistic theory and methodology), bilingualism (borrowing, language contact and convergence), second language acquisition (contrastive analysis, implications of language acquisition in non-native, multilingual settings for second language acquisition theory), and World Englishes (structure and functions of Indian English and other non-native varieties of English, methods and materials for teaching English as a second language in India). He discusses these issues with reference to Kannada, a major language of South India, and Indian English, and the dynamics of multilingualism in South Asia, employing a multidimensional theoretical perspective that seeks to explore the interaction of language form and language function. Currently, he is working on (a) Indian English as it relates to representation of multilingual competence in linguistic theory and (b) a stylistic analysis of the 15th century classic Kannada poet Kumara Vyasa, author of the Kannada Mahabharata.
Professor Sridhar is author of three books (Kannada: Descriptive Grammar (Routledge, 1990, repreinted as Modern Kannada Grammar, Manohar, 2010), Cognition and Sentence Production: A Cross-Linguistic Study (Springer Verlag, 1986), and Indina Kannada: Rachane mattu Balake (“Contemporary Kannada: Structure and Function,” Kannada University, 1995, reprinted by Abhinava, 2009). He is co-editor of two reference books (Ananya: A Portrait of India, with Nirmal K. Mattoo, AIA, 1997), and Language in South Asia (with Braj B. Kachru and Yamuna Kachru, Cambridge University Press, 2008, and CUP India, 2011) and six special issues of research journals. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries.
Professor Sridhar’s research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and Senior Faculty Research Fellowships of the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has been designated Senior/Superior Scholar in the Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was appointed SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in 2011.
Professor Sridhar teaches courses on Bilingualism, Second Language Acquisition, Indian Civilization, Language and Society in South Asia, and Great Books of India, among other topics.
Professor Sridhar is a co-founder of South Asian Languages Analysis (SALA) and organized its international conferences at Stony Brook in 1983 and 2004. He has also organized or co-organized conferences on Kannada Culture and Literature, Dravidian Linguistics, India Studies, the Teaching of Linguistics, and Teaching of Asian Languages. He founded and directed Stony Brook’s Summer Study Abroad Program in Bangalore, India from 2004-2008. He co-directed the Winter Institute in Kannada Linguistics at Kannada University, Hampi, in 1995. He has been a plenary or keynote speaker at many international conferences, member of editorial board of journals, evaluator of Linguistics and Asian Studies programs for funding agencies.
Professor Sridhar spearheaded the faculty committee for Asian Studies and served as the founding Chair of the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies from 2002-2008. With the help of students, faculty, administration, and the generous support of the Indian American community on Long Island, he initiated the India Studies Program and the Center for India Studies at Stony Brook (inaugurated in 1997), served as its founding Director (1997-2002) and has been serving as Director since 2008. The Center offers courses, sponsors a lecture series, performing arts series, a Study Abroad program in India, a rich Outreach Program, and offers scholarships and runs a India Reference Library.
Professor Sridhar is also active in the community. He founded the India Society of Stony Brook in 1989 and served as its first President until 1994. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Indians in America and of the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has served as a member of American Civil Liberties Union’s National Committee on Academic Freedom.
He lives in Stony Brook with his wife and colleague, Kamal K. (Meena) Sridhar.