The Department was established in 1972 through the initiative of Professor Rohini Kumar Mahanta. Prof Mahanta had trained at the School of Oriental and African Studies where he completed his Ph.D. in Firthian Phonology under the supervision of Prof. Eugenie Henderson. For about eight years since the inception the department ran a one-year PG Diploma course in Linguistics. In 1980, this was replaced by a two-year M.A. course in Linguistics.

Linguistics was introduced as an elective subject at the undergraduate level from 1995.

In 2001, the Department collaborated with the allied department of English Language Teaching to run a joint M.A. programme called LELT (Linguistics and English Language Teaching) with a provision for interdisciplinary intake.

In recent years, the department has worked collaboratively with linguists from international organizations such as Summer Institute of Linguistics, RCLT of La Trobe University, Australia, CNRS, Paris & University of Oregon, USA. Such collaborations have resulted in a training workshop on linguistics software and opportunities for students to conduct linguistic fieldwork under the guidance of Australian and American scholars.

The Department of Linguistics aims at promoting the intrinsic and scientific study of language, with particular focus on the structure of the indigenous languages of Assam, including Assamese.

It seeks to foster, promote and establish a sound tradition of documentation, description and analysis of the indigenous languages of the linguistically rich and diverse region of Assam, through teaching, research, training, consultancy and collaboration with institutions at the regional, national and international levels.

Post Graduate Programme:

a) Name of the Programme: Master of Arts in Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics collaborates with the allied Department of English Language Teaching in offering a joint programme called LELT (short for Linguistics and English Language Teaching) leading to an M.A. in Linguistics. The masters programme in Linguistics is designed to promote scientific study of language with particular focus on the structure of the indigenous languages of Assam and its neighboring states of Northeast India. Moreover, in response to the unprecedented level of language endangerment, we aim to equip our students with the basic skills necessary for analyzing and describing undocumented languages through this programme.

b) Duration of the Programme: 4-Semesters, 2-Years

c) Intake Capacity: 10

d) Admission Process:


  • Eligibility to apply

Graduates from SCIENCE, COMMERCE and ARTS are eligible to apply provided they fulfill (i) or (ii).

(i) Secured Major in English

(candidates who fail to secure a minimum of 40% marks in English Major will not be eligible to apply)

(ii) If they have not opted for Major in English, they have scored at least 50% in English as a subject at graduation (or equivalent).


  • Criterion for Selection

Selection is based on a two and a half hour Proficiency Test in English for 100 marks.

This test is intended to find out whether the applicant has the necessary level of command in the English Language required for the LELT Programme. The areas covered in the test will include the following: reading comprehension, written composition, dictation, grammar and vocabulary usage.

Since applicants from all the three streams (Arts, Science and Commerce) are eligible to apply, the test will not be based on any formal knowledge of English Grammar or Linguistics.

General category applicants and reserved quota applicants must secure the minimum pass percentage of 50% and 45% respectively in the proficiency test in order to be considered for admission.

e) Programme Structure under CBCS

Please refer to the syllabus for details on the programme structure and courses offered.

Download the syllabus

Research Programme

a) Name of the Programme: PhD in Linguistics

PhD research is usually undertaken either in language description or in language education.

b) Duration: Minimum of 3 Years, Maximum of 5 Years
c) Intake Capacity: As per Availability of Seats

MA Courses

 LEL 1016 Introduction to Language and Linguistics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Provides beginner students an introductory glimpse at language and language study as a discipline.

LEL 1026 Phonetics and Phonology

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Explores speech sounds in general as well as specific to English.

 LEL 1036 Introduction to Language Teaching

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Helps students build a theoretical basis of language teaching, and apply it to actual teaching process.

LEL 1046 Study Skills in English

Course type: Core, Credits: 6;

LEL 1054 Academic Reading I

Course type: Value Added, Credits: 4;

LEL 2016 Semantics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6

 LEL 2026 Sociolinguistics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6

LEL 2036 Morphology and Syntax

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces grammatical categories at a general as well as language particular level, with special reference to English.

LEL 2046 Introduction to Language Analysis

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces students to linguistic analysis in different domains, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse.

LEL 2054 Academic Reading II

Course type: Value Added, Credits: 6;

LIN 3016 Functional Syntax I

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces students to the functional-typological-diachronic approach to syntax; concentrates mainly on the morphosyntax of simple clauses.

LIN 3026 Linguistic Fieldwork

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Supervised linguistic fieldwork with a native speaker of a relatively little-studied language of Northeast India.

 LIN 3036 Corpus Linguistics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces students to corpus linguistics, involves corpus generation and investigation of a certain aspect of a language using a corpus.

 LIN 3046 Historical Linguistics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces Historical Linguistics, teaches the methods and techniques of linguistic reconstruction.

LIN 4016 Functional Syntax II

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces syntax from a functional-typological-diachronic perspective, concentrates mainly on morphosyntax of complex sentences, and aspects of discourse or information structure.

LIN 4026 Projects in Linguistics

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; students conduct original research leading to their MA dissertation.

LIN 4036 Lexicography

Course type: Core, Credits: 6; Introduces Lexicography, and the methods of compiling dictionaries.

LIN 4046 Literacy and Language Education

Course type: Core, Credits: 6: Develops awareness about the wider function of language in education and the role of literacy as an empowering agent.

 PhD Students

Riyaz Uddin Ahmed

PhD Student

Dissertation title: Noun Phrase Structure in English and Assamese: A Comparative Study


Niharika Dutta

PhD Student

Dissertation title: A Descriptive Grammar of Phong

Research interests: Tibeto-Burman languages, Language Description


Mouchumi Handique

PhD Student

Dissertation title: An Assamese-Assamese-English Bilingual Dictionary: From Conception to Implementation

Research interests: Lexicography


Subhash Rabha

PhD Student

Dissertation title: Initial Literacy Measures for Assamese Learners with Reference to Rabha Community Children

Research interests: Initial literacy, MTB-MLE


 MA Students

Chandamita Baruah

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Ishita Bora

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Hirak Jyoti Lahari Boro

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Kangkana Deka

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Satavisha Hazarika

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Sourabh Jyoti Dutta Kalita

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Chandamoi Pegu

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Gunjan Pegu

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Sheetal Verma

MA Student (General Linguistics)



Prafulla Basumatary

UGC Post Doctoral Fellow (2017-2022)

 Research interests: MTB-MLE, Initial Literacy in Boro, Tibeto-Burman Linguistics



Mouchumi Handique, MA (Gauhati University)

Guest Faculty









Upcoming Events




Recent Events

1. LELT Alumni Meet

Date: 6th May, Venue: Seminar Hall, New Academic Building, G.U.

Department of Linguistics
Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam
Phone : +91-94350-42679
Email :
Web   :


Jyotiprakash Tamuli [ Co-ordinator, IQAC ] Head of the Department
MA (Pune) PhD (Reading)

Assistant Professor

Gitanjali Bez
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Medieval Assamese Linguistics
Krishna Boro
MA (Gauhati), PhD (Oregon)
Tibeto-Burman linguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Language documentation
Seuji Sharma
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati)
Assamese Grammar