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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Sana Kidwai


Fitzwilliam College



Dr Theresa Biberauer and Professor Ian Roberts

Research Topic

Decomposition of Urdu Case


Sana is a second year PhD student. She is from Pakistan and moved to the UK in 2015 for university. Sana did her undergraduate in linguistics from University College London. She then came to Cambridge in 2018 for an MPhil in linguistics. Staying on for a PhD was a natural progression from there.


Sana works on minimalist syntax and morphology. Her PhD project aims to provide a fine-grained analysis of Udru case and relevant functional heads. The main intuition is that case features (e.g. nominative, accusative) are not opaque, but rather consist of bundles of sub-features (e.g. ±finite, ±definite) which are checked by functional heads (e.g. T, v). Manipulating the sub-features allows us to capture similarities in the behaviour of nominals with different case forms and differences between the behaviour of nominals with the same case forms.


Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship


Li9 2020-21

Conference papers

The Urdu Active Impersonal, poster presentation at IGG-46; A Case for Bare Accusatives in Hindi-Urdu, poster presentation at FASAL-10.


A Case for Bare Accusatives in Hindi-Urdu, to appear in conference proceedings of FASAL-10; Case-Mismatching in Urdu Sluicing, The Cambridge Occasional Papers in Linguistics, 12.

Other activities and roles

Co-Editor of The Cambridge Occasional Papers in Linguistics (COPiL), MCR Vice-President 2020-21, MCR Social Secretary 2019-20

Personal website