Shiti Malhotra

Shiti Malhotra

Assistant Teaching Professor


  • Bilingualism And Second Language Acquisition, South-Asian Languages, Syntax

About Shiti Malhotra

Professor Malhotra earned her PhD in Theoretical Linguistics from University of Maryland, with specialization in Syntax. In her doctoral thesis, she reviewed syntactic movement observed in natural languages. Although, her research is primarily informed by evidence from South-Asian Languages, she loves to explore linguistic structures in a variety of languages.

Prior to her doctoral degree, she obtained her master’s degree in Linguistics from Delhi University, where she worked on Kokborok (a Sino-Tibetan language). Kokborok is one of the endangered languages of India and thus the attempt was to contribute to the revitalization efforts. Her work on Kokborok is one of the most extensive studies done on the syntax of the language so far. That study turned out be a turning point in her career as it not only introduced her to a new language, but also enriched her view on cross-linguistics patterns. Being raised as a multilingual, Prof. Malhotra has always been appreciative of different languages. The Kokborok study further enhanced her experience and provided a strong motivation to go for doctoral studies.

Prof Malhotra has taught a variety of introductory as well as upper-level courses in Linguistics in her decade long career at Northeastern University. In her Introduction to Language and Linguistics Course (LING1150), she focuses on the cognitive aspects of language as students explore topics like language acquisition, psycholinguistics, animal communication and computational linguistics, in addition to the six main subfield of linguistics like Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics. This course has been very successful in encouraging students to pursue a major or a minor in the field. She has taught courses in different modality; in-person, synchronously online as well as asynchronously online.

In addition, she also teaches advance courses like Syntax (LING3450) and Bilingualism (LING3454). In her syntax course, students examine the formal structure of sentences in natural languages using theories of generative grammar namely phrase structure and minimalism. Whereas in Bilingualism, students explore linguistic, psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic and societal aspects of bilingualism as they work on case studies and research projects. Over the years, she has also designed and taught new Seminar (LING4654) and Topics in Linguistics (LING3458) courses in Second Language Acquisition, Evolutionary linguistics, Field Methods and Experimental Syntax.

Prof. Malhotra strongly believes in establishing a strong research culture at the Undergraduate Level. For this reason, she conceived and started the Northeastern University Working Papers in Linguistics (NUWPL) in 2016. NUWPL are first and only undergraduate working papers at Northeastern University. She also worked as the editor the first three volumes of the publication. The online publication is peer-reviewed and has produced high quality research papers year-after year since its inception. The published papers have helped the student authors at the Linguistics Program to establish a strong research profile, especially with regards to their Graduate School Applications. In addition, Prof. Malhotra has done a number of Directed Studies and Research Seminars Projects with the students in areas of Bilingualism and Syntax.

Selected Publications

Malhotra, Shiti. 2014. Ditransitive in Hindi/Urdu. In Chandra, Pritha and Richa Srishti (eds.), The Lexicon–Syntax Interface: Perspectives from South Asian languages. JohnBenjamin Publications. pp. 127–148.

Subbarao, K.V., Shiti Malhotra and Suranjan Barua. 2010. Aspects of Kokborok Syntax. Interdisciplinary Journal of Linguistics. 3, 1-43.

Malhotra, Shiti. 2009. Quantifier Induced Barriers and Wh-movement. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium. 15, 139-145.

Nevins, Andrew. Brain Dillon, Shiti Malhotra, and Colin Phillips. 2007. The Role of Feature-Number and Feature-Type in Processing Hindi Verb Agreement Violations. Brain Research. 1164, 81-94.


Mailing Address:

545 Nightingale Hall, Boston, MA 02115

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