What are you looking for?

Klamer, Marian

Klamer, Marian


Marian Klamer, born in Pirimapun, Indonesia, in 1965. Ph.D. from VU University Amsterdam. Professor of Austronesian and Papuan Linguistics at Leiden University.

Theme Group Coordinator (1 September – 30 November 2015)

Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics

Research Question

How does the horizontal transfer (‘borrowing’) of linguistic data (words and structures) differ from horizontal transfer in biology? Can we develop a computational model for horizontal transfer of linguistic traits?

Project Description

In my project, I would like to study how horizontal transfer of linguistic data (words and structures) is different from horizontal transfer in Biology. My data will be from of a group of languages spoken in Eastern Indonesia, for each language consisting of a list of 500 words, a list of 100+ structural features and a list of kinship terms. Biologists typically do not find much horizontal transfer of traits between large species such as mammals, but they find a lot of horizontal transfer between small species such as bacteria. Horizontal transfer of traits in linguistics (“borrowing”) is different from both of these extremes is currently without practical computational models, and I would like to work with colleagues who have a background in algorithm theories towards developing a computational model for horizontal transfer of linguistic traits. As a spin-off of our collaboration we will also work on a publication explaining basic algorithm theories for a linguistic audience.

Selected Publications

1) Klamer, Marian. 2010. A grammar of Teiwa. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 555 pp.

2) Klamer, Marian. 2012. Papuan-Austronesian language contact: Alorese from an areal perspective. In Nicholas Evans and Marian Klamer (eds.), Melanesian Languages on the Edge of Asia: Challenges for the 21st Century. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 72-108. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4561

3) Klamer, Marian (ed.). 2014. The Alor Pantar languages: History and typology.. Berlin: Language Science Press. http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/22

Personal page