E. Annamalai

E. Annamalai
Visiting Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages & Civilizations
Kelly Hall 110
Office Hours: Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays By Appointment


E. Annamalai has been a teacher, researcher and director of a national language research institution.  Has worked on Tamil language and literature, linguistic description of indigenous language of India and shared features of Indian languages and Language Policy in education. Has done translation from Tamil to English.

Studied Tamil and Linguistics at Annamalai University and received Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Taught in both these places before joining the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore. Designed and guided projects to describe, develop and teach the tribal languages of India. Was its Director and responsible for developing national policy and programs for the development of all Indian languages, training teachers to teach, and producing materials to learn, Indian languages as a second language in schools.  

He was a visiting professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo; International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden; Mas Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen; Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig; University of Melbourne and Yale University, New Haven.

He was a member of the panel of the Endangered Languages Documentation Project, London, UNESCO's Committee on World Language Survey, Bilbao, Spain and Chair of the Board of Governors, Terralingua, a non-profit organization for bio-cultural diversity, Canada and Secretary-General of International Association for Tamil Research.

Work with Students

He has advised on dissertations at PhD and MA levels in Linguistic analysis,  Traditional grammars, Social dimensions of language, Tamil Textual analysis and Critical study of Tamil literature.


  • Social Dimensions of Modern Tamil.  Chennai: CreA,  2011 
  • (With R.E. Asher) Colloquial Tamil. London: Routledge, 2002 
  • Managing Multilingualism in India: Political and Linguistic  
  • Manifestations. New Delhi: Sage, 2001 
  • Lectures on Modern Tamil. Coimbatore: Bharathiar University, 1999 
  • Adjectival Clauses in Tamil. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1997 
  • (Ed. with B. Jernudd and J. Rubin) Language Planning: Proceedings of an Institute. Mysore: CIIL, 1987  
  • Dynamics of Verbal Extension in Tamil. Trivandrum: ISDL, 1985 
  • (Ed) Language Movements in India. Mysore: CIIL, 1979 



  • Introductory level of Tamil language 
  • Intermediate level of Tamil language 
  • Advanced level of Tamil language 
  • Grammatical tradition of Tamil 
  • Readings in classical Tamil literature 
  • The metrical language of Tamil poetry