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)