Gaurav Mathur has been involved in linguistics since majoring in it as an undergraduate in 1992. His research interests center on the relationship between language modality (visual-manual vs. auditory-vocal) and language structure.
One line of research uses a paradigm of psycholinguistic experimental tasks to examine how the phonological properties of a signed language, e.g. handshape, location and movement, affect the online perception of a sign by native signers, late signers, and non-signers. Conversely, the paradigm reveals in part those properties that appear in the phonological structure of a sign.
A second line of research, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Christian Rathmann at the University of Hamburg, draws on a cross-linguistic comparison of several signed languages with respect to their morphology, with the aim of uncovering modality-specific and modality-neutral structural properties. To date, most of the research has concentrated on verb agreement in a number of sign languages. More recently, this line of research has been extended to the domain of classifier constructions.
He is also interested in the development of metalinguistic skills in a signed language and how it pertains to the development of reading skills in a written language.