Anvita Abbi is a linguist and social scientist internationally acclaimed for her contributions to documenting indigenous languages. She identified a new language family—the Great Andamanese—that is key to understanding the peopling of Asia and Oceania. She is at the forefront of unravelling the knowledgebase of unwritten languages preserved in oral tradition and has contributed to the awareness of biodiversity through the languages of South Asia. She taught at JNU and is currently Adjunct Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. She also serves on the Expert Committee of the UNESCO World Atlas of Languages. She received the Padma Shri in 2013.