Elango Kumaran


I'm a 5th year PhD student in Linguistics at USC. I work on morphosyntactic and phonological theory, looking at data from a variety of languages from around the world.

In morphosyntax, most of my work is on phi-features (person, number, gender, honorificity) and the syntactic and morphological operations that manipulate them. I'm especially interested in intricate verb agreement systems; for instance:

Recently, my interest in phi-features has also extended to the nominal domain:

In phonology, my work focuses on the effect of syllable weight on the delineation of stress domains: 

CV (updated Sep 2023)

Proceedings papers

To appear. Murrinhpatha number conflation: The limits of feature markedness and *ABA. Proceedings of CLS 59. (slides)

To appear. Murrinhpatha number mismatch as partial Agree. Proceedings of CLS 58. (poster)

2023. Adjustable word edges and weight-sensitive stress. (Languages: Karuk, Punjabi.) Proceedings of AMP 2022. (slides)

2022. Focus and multiple agreement in Maithili. With Samir Alam. Proceedings of CLS 57.

2022. Constraint-driven Agree. (Languages: Maithili, Hinuq, Alutor, Sanzhi Dargwa, and more.) Proceedings of LSA 2022.

2022. Two types of external argument in Karuk. Proceedings of CLS 56.

2018. Karuk Agreement. Proceedings of WECOL 2017, 85-94.

Some other projects

2023. Karuk prefixal stress: Optimizing prosodic word edge placement. With Darby Grachek. MorrisHalle@100 poster.

2023. A note on consonant strengthening at both edges in Toda. One-page manuscript.

2023. Number agreement does not always favor plural. (Languages: Sahel Ketama Berber, Onondaga.) LSA 2023 slides.

2021. Multiple exponence is antilocal and secondary exponence is local: evidence from Karuk. MultEx@ZAS 2021 handout.

2021. Positional weight emerges from gradient weight and gradient alignment in HG. (Languages: Tamil, Hupa.) AMP 2021 poster. (5 minute video)

2020. The existence of three-syllable stress windows does not favor HG over OT. (Languages: Pirahã, Macedonian.) AMP 2020 poster. (5 minute video)