Growing up in multilingual Malaysia the magic of language has fascinated me ever since I can remember. At school, I studied Bahasa Malaysia and took Tamil lessons. My friends and I ordered lunch at the hawker centres in colloquial Hokkien we picked up from listening to the adults placing orders. At the dinner table, my father would say something funny to my mother in English and then explain the joke to my grandmother in her native Hainanese. Laughter was the universal language we shared. As a child, it made me wonder what languages had in common (other than laughter) and how many languages a person could store in their brain before losing the languages previously acquired.
My love for linguistics increased over the years especially during my undergraduate degree in Languages and Linguistics (French). I absorbed everything I could get my hands on from Jean Berko Gleason’s wugs to Chomsky’s trees. Following my undergraduate degree, I explored with abandon, participating in various linguistics conferences, presenting findings on the hegemonic aspect of language use in Malaysia through critical discourse analysis and doing extensive research on the translation process of the pantun, a traditional Malay poetry form into English and French.
At Oxford, I hope to attain a strong foundation in my main interests - syntax, and language and the mind.
I am excited for life at the Ertegun House, a dazzling wellspring of perspectives and insights, which I am extremely grateful to be a part of; I only hope I can contribute as much to it as I know I will take from my experience here.