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Personal profile

Personal profile

Rakesh M. Bhatt received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois. He is now Professor of Linguistics and SLATE (Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education) at the University of Illinois. He is a former director of the Program in SLATE and associate director of the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois. He specializes in sociolinguistics of language contact, in particular, issues of migration, minorities and multilingualism, code-switching, language ideology, and world Englishes. The empirical focus of his work has been on South Asian languages; particularly, Kashmiri, Hindi, and Indian English. His study, Verb Movement and the Syntax of Kashmiri (1999, Kluwer Academic Press), was published in the prestigious series, Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. He has also co-authored another book, World Englishes (2008, Cambridge University Press). He is the author of essays in the Journal of Sociolinguistics, Annual Review of Anthropology, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Lingua, World Englishes, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Research, English Language and Linguistics and other venues. Heis working on a book-length manuscript, under contract with CambridgeUniversity Press, on the sociolinguistic patterns of subordination ofKashmiri language in Diaspora.

Research Interests

Applied Linguistics: Migration, Minorities, and Multilingualism
Language Ideology, Planning, Maintenance and Shift
World Englishes; Language Learning, Teaching, and Use of Second/Non-native Languages
Heritage Language Acquisition and Use
Formal Linguistics: Indo-Aryan Syntax, Syntax of Language Contact and Language Variation

Professional Information

Applied Linguistics:

•  Migration, Minorities, and Multilingualism
•  Language Contact and Code-switching
•  Language Ideology, Planning, Maintenance and Shift
•  World Englishes
•  Heritage Language Acquisition and Use


Indo-Aryan SyntaxSyntax of Language Contact and Language Variation

Current Projects

Language Contact in DiasporaSociolinguistic Grammars of Bilingual Language Use



(Forthcoming)  Language in Diaspora. Under contract, Cambridge University Press. (2008) World Englishes: The Study of New Linguistic Varieties, Cambridge University Press (with R.Mesthrie). (1999) Verb Movement and the Syntax of Kashmiri, Kluwer Academic Press.

Selected Recent Book Chapters and Journal Articles

ForthcomingDifferential Object Marking in Spanish, Hindi and Romanian as heritage languages Language.  (with S. Montrul and R. Girju)World Englishes and language ideologies.  In M. Filppula, J. Klemola, and D. Sharma (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes.  New York: Oxford University Press.


Argument Licensing in Optimal Switches. In Jeff MacSwan (ed.) Grammatical Theory and Bilingual Code-switching.  Cambridge. Mass.: MIT Press.


Optimization in bilingual language use.  Response to Pieter Muysken’s keynote article: Language contact outcomes as a result of bilingual optimization strategies.  Bilingualism: Language & Cognition16.4, 740-742.


Erosion of case and agreement in Hindi heritage speakers. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 2.2, 141-176.  (with Silvina Montrul and Archana Bhatia) 2011Code-switching and the optimal grammar of bilingual language use.  Bilingualism: Language and Cognition14.4, 1-25. (with A. Bolonyai)


Ph.D. Linguistics, specialization in Syntax, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1994
M.A. Linguistics; specialization in Sociolinguistics, University of Pittsburgh, 1987

Honors & Awards

NSF Grant # 0917593 Differential Object Marking in Spanish, Hindi and Romanian Heritage Speakers (co-PI with Silvina Montrul [PI], Roxana Girju [Co-PI])
Center for Advanced Study Associate Award, AY 2010/2011
American Institute of Indian Studies' Senior Short Term Research Fellowship 2004


NSF 3-year grant on Heritage Language grammars


Introduction to Sopciolinguistics (Ling 450)
Language in Globalization (Ling 111)
Ling 400: Introduction to Linguistics
Ling 560: Seminar on Bilingualism
Ling 587: Code-switching: Form and Function
Ling 555: Sociolinguistics of World Englishes

Office Address

4088 Foreign Lang Bl
707 S Mathews
M/C 168
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone


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