Simplification of morphology in Austronesian-Papuan contact — Guest lecture by Professor Marian Klamer

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on the Humanities and Social Sciences (CIRHSS) and the Linguistics Graduate Program of Udayana University held a guest lecture delivered by Prof. Marian Klamer, from Leiden University (12 February 2020).

Prof. Klamer presented her recent collaborative research on how language contact leads to morphological simplification. The studies focus on Austronesian-Papuan contact, in particular, language communities on Alor and Pantar, two small islands in NTT, eastern Indonesian, where Austronesian languages are in contact with non-Austronesian (i.e. Papuan) languages.

Prof. Klamer discussed two case studies. The first one deals with morphological simplification in the verbal domain, especially the use of subject-agreement affixes on verbs in the first and second language speakers of Alorese (an Austronesian language). The second study examines morphological simplification in the nominal domain, especially in the use of possessive prefixes by bilingual speakers in Abui (a non-Austronesian language) and Alor Malay (an Austronesian language).

Two key references for the studies are pointed out during the talk:

Moro, F. R. (2019). Loss of Morphology in Alorese (Austronesian): Simplification in Adult Language Contact, Journal of Language Contact12(2), 378-403. doi:

Saad, G., Klamer, M., & Moro, F. (2019). Identifying agents of change: Simplification of possessive marking in Abui-Malay bilinguals. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics4(1), 57. DOI:

Below are some pictures from the lecture.