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A/PROF Sander Adelaar


  • Asian linguistics (Asia, languages)
  • Austronesian Comparative-Historical Linguistics (Austronesian, Historical Linguistics, Malay, Malagasy, Formosan Languages, Borneo Linguistics, Javanese Historical Linguistics)
  • Indonesian Linguistics (historical linguistics)
  • Malaysian Linguistics



  • Sander Adelaar studied Indonesian languages and cultures and Austronesian linguistics at Leiden University, where he also lectured. He was a research fellow in Linguistics at the Australian National University and a Humboldt Fellow at Goethe University (Frankfurt) before coming to the University of Melbourne. His research includes comparative and descriptive linguistics with emphasis on varieties of Malay and the languages of Borneo (where he has conducted extensive field research), Madagascar and Taiwan. He is also interested in the oral and written literary traditions of Indonesia.

    • The linguistic history and variety of Malay
    • The linguistic history and culture history of Madagascar
    • Description of languages in West Kalimantan
    • Philological analysis of 17th century texts in Siraya, an extinct Formosan language (Taiwan)


Member of

  • "Pacific Linguistics" Editorial Board. member of editorial board 2004 -
  • Borneo Research Council. Council for all research concerning Borneo 2004 -
  • Proyek Etimologi Kamus Dewan (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka). Certified Specialist 2004 -
  • "Jurnal Bahasa" Editorial Board. member of editorial board 2000 -
  • "Moussons" Editorial Board. member of editorial board 2000 -
  • "Etudes Ocean Indien" Editorial Board. member of editorial board 1991 -


Selected publications

  • 2000

  • 1999

  • 1997

  • 1995

  • 1994

  • Research

    Investigator on


    Education and training

    • PhD, Leiden University 1985
    • MA, Leiden University 1977
    • BA, Leiden University 1974

    Awards and honors

    • Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2007
    • Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation, 1992