Associate Professor Karl Alexander Adelaar FAHA

Reader, Indonesian Studies

Room 311
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
Building 158, Parkville Campus
The University of Melbourne
Phone: + 61 3 9035 6715
Fax: + 61 3 9349 3472

View CV


Alexander 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.

Research interests

  • 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)

Research in progress

The South East Barito languages in Indonesia and Madagascar: safeguarding their past and future (ARC Discovery Project).