List of Presentations on Linguistics and Culture History
(see also List of Publications)
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The role of Internet in bringing down the Soeharto regime in Indonesia, presentation at the KITLV international conference: Digital Disruption in Asia: Methods and Issues, in the hortus botanics, Leiden, 24-25 May 2016 [click here to see images of conference location]
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 1.5 Mb for personal use only! Mind copyright on images]If the Indonesian Reform (Reformasi) in 1998 could be likened to a revolution, it would be the first revolution in world history to have been ushered in through the Internet. First the wall of total censorship was breached, then the military cordons protecting palace and parliament from the people. This paper will try to give a detailed perusal and inspection of the various factors leading to the opening of Internet in Indonesia and how that led to uncensored public information: business interests in free flow of information; professional ambitions of young IT scientists; capital investments in Internet service providers and net-café chains; Internet activity of students studying abroad in democratic countries; dedicated indigene and expatriate NGO activists; operators of mailing lists and internet portals; investigative journalists of media banned by the regime; and simple personal commitment of countless common citizens. Since 1998, peace in the Indonesian national community has been continuously disturbed by interconfessional and interethnic violence. The Internet is playing new roles, having furthermore developed various novel media and technical means of access.
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Islamic elements in the multiple historical roots of intellectual Bahasa Indonesia, Vortragsveranstaltung, 11 November 2014, at the Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Ostasienstudien (IZO), Frankfurt (Main). [Lecture announcement]Inspects introduction and particularities of the Jawi script as compared with the Perso-Arabic, and accompanying Arabic influence on Malayan phonology. Islamization also led to advancement of political and economical structures, of literary culture, common knowledge and philosophy, shipbuilding and metallurgical technology. Arabic-based lexical innovations via the Bible translation are shown; also productive and non-productive acquisition of Arabic morphological means. New educational policies in consequence of the 18481870 economic reforms led to publication of reading books for school and youth, including some in Jawi script, as also Latic-script Malay books with oriental stories. Since beginning of the 20th century, an indigenous Islamic middle class becomes politically active in the Sarekat Islam. The development of the movement is followed, leading to Haji Agus Salim as "intellectual ulama". Finally, the roundabout results of Islamic culture influence via Western modernization (as a result of the 12th century Renaissance) is inspected. The conclusion: Islam is not a religious-cultural isolate, but is an integral feature of the worldwide culture community of mankind.
Word-borrowing between Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian languages, Friday Afternoon Lecture, 17 October 2014, at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL), Leiden. [Lecture announcement]Lexical cognate sets shared with Mon-Khmer languages since the beginning of Malayo-Polynesian dispersal, particularly through phases of Malayo-Polynesian / Mon-Khmer contacts and interaction during: (1) the Trans-South-China-Sea Network, involving Taiwan, the Philippines and Eastern Indochina, particularly the Mekong basin, featuring boat coffins and the ship-of-the dead cult, and some botanical cultivars; (2) earliest Mon-Khmer / Malayo-Javanic and Chamic contacts in the area encompassing the Mekong Delta and Kra Isthmus, involving exchange of various items of material culture; (3) interactions during emergence and development of statehood; (4) exchange of in part ÒofficialeseÓ terms, presumably between Old Khmer and Old Malay kingdoms. The latter phase also involves borrowing of Sanskritisms, i.e. when a Sanskrit word is borrowed by one of the inspected languages indirectly via another of these languages.
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Pre-Austronesian origins of seafaring in Insular Southeast Asia, presentation at the international conference: Cultural Transfers in Historical Maritime Asia: Austronesian-Indic Encounters at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 23 December 2013.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 2.1 Mb for personal use only! Mind copyright on images]The double canoe which was brought by ancestors of present-day Negritos to Southeast China and Taiwan served as original watercraft of the Malayo-Polynesian dispersal, the first waves of which were carried out by people with equatorial (dark) complexion. A tradition of maritime communication and trade seems to have developed in the South China Sea, providing amounts others material culture contacts between indochina and the Philippines, leading up to a metal-age Sahuynh-Kulanay complex. A boat-burial rite seems to likewise have developed, transmitted as far east as Hawaii, bt also into the mainland up the Mekong as mell as Salween, Irrawady, and Brahmaoutra. A further development, already in the metal age, was apparently the ship-of-the-dead cult. Meanwhile Negrito (and Papuan) westward shipping, already since before the Malayo-Polynesian dispersal, apparently brought the banana and the coconut to India. Negrito seafarers who, like also subsequently arrived Malayo-Polynesians, settled on the Bay of Bengal coast, may have been referred to in early Indian literature as Nagas.
Origins of Southeast Asian Shipping and Maritime Communication across the Indian Ocean, presentation at the international workshop: East Africa and Early Trans-Indian Ocean World Interchange at the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University, Montreal, 2122 November 2013.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 1.9 Mb for personal use only! Mind copyright on images]While people elsewhere just began developing maritime mobility during the Late Pleistocene Mid Holocene period of the rising seas, equatorial populations in Insular Southeast Asia (ISEA) looked back on many millennia of experience since the crossing of Wallacea from the Sunda to the Sh‡hul Shelf, making further steps in watercraft construction. Moving Northwards, they brought the double canoe to Southeast China, from where it was transmitted to the Han Chinese and the Austronesians. The possible transmission of earliest constructional sophistications of the raft the tapered raft and the multiple dugout to the west coast of South India are considered. Common distinctive features of Indian, Chinese. and Malayo-Polynesian shipping are seen as reflecting their common origin from Ausraloid (mainly Negrito) maritime mobility.
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The Protohistorical Linguistic, Ethnic, and Political Situation around the Gulf of Thailand in the Light of Borrowing between Malayo-Chamic and Eastern Austroasiatic Languages, contribution to Crossing Borders in Southeast Asian Archaeology, the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Berlin, 27 September1 October 2010.Mutual borrowing over the period from c. 1500 BCE till 500 CE, covering terms of (1) Betel-chewing betel pepper (leaf), areca nut, lime (chalk); (2) agriculture carabao (water buffalo), husk/chaff (of rice), sesame, benzoin; (3) metal money silver, gold; (4) other boat/ship, high title, etc.
Renward Brandstetters comparative analysis of the Indonesian mind, contribution to the international conference: Revisiting the work of Renward Brandstetter (1860-1942), Swiss linguist and Austronesianist at the University of Lucerne, 2829 June 2010.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 3.8 Mb for personal use only]Colonialism led to a specific problem in culture anthropology: not only did colonisers tend to express prejudiced views on intellectual capacities of colonialised ethnicities, the latter themselves began to doubt in their own capabilities. Inspite of this, enlightened anthropologists and linguists of the period maintained their conviction of the equality of all peoples and races. In this, Renward Brandstetter presents us with a particularly remarkable record. The author reaches his conclusions about Indonesian (actually Western Malayo-Polynesian) peoples not basing on idealist presumptions, but as the result of a lifelong scientific research. This began with a study of indigenous beliefs and literature (18851898), followed by a study of Malayo-Polynesian historical linguistics that advanced beyond a neogrammarian historical phonology and language-tree reconstruction (19021917). Finally, this is crowned by a series of comparative works titled We people of the Indonesian earth (19201937). Building on the authors preceding studies, it begins with a comparison between Indonesian and Indogermanic (i.e. Indoeuropean) and other language phila, and continues with a study of what the author terms the animus, the intellect, the inclination to fine arts, the heart, and creative language spirit of the Indonesians and their capacity for abstract thought, altogether a well argumented panegyric to the speech communities of the Indonesian earth.
Bifurcation of indigenous commercial tradition in West Indonesia, 18501930, as reflected in contemporaneous Malay print publishing, contribution to the international seminar: Trade and Finance in the Malay World: Historical and Cultural Perspectives at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, 1718 June 2010.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 17.8 Mb for personal use only! Mind copyright on images]The presentation is in 4 parts: to establish the branching-off of a novel tradition, part (1) traces the original indigenous commercial tradition since the Malayo-Polynesian dispersal, and precolonial emergence of financial tradition, till the dissolution of the VOC in 1799. Part (2) reviews the continuation of traditional forms of indigenous shipping and trade throughout the 19th and half the 20th centuries. Part (3) follows the parallel development of divergent, industrial-age forms in indigenous trade and finance since c. 1850, particularly as reflected in commercial advertisements; modernist development is found to have been much slower in trade and finance than in indigenous society in general. Part (4) discusses some post-1930 consequences of the belated modernisation in trade and finance, briefly touching on the gradual overcoming of the ambiguous state of development between 1945 and today.
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Malayic Sea-People crews on shipping across the Indian Ocean (approximately 400 BCE 500 CE), contribution to: Ancient Indian Ocean Corridors conference at the School of Archaeology, Oxford, 78 November 2009.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 17.5 Mb]Shipping between the Malayan Archipelago and the Near East on ships of Southeast Asian construction apparently persisted since the last half millenium BCE. The shippers appear to have spoken Malay, the crews were of various ethnic origin. One major source of seamen was the Barito area, Southeast Kalimantan, but probably only since the 5th century CE. The present contribution is concerned with the preceding period. Descriptions in early Chinese, Indic, Greek, Mon, and other sources on the one hand, and linguistic evidence, particularly of phonological particularities of loan-words, on the other, suggest that Sea-People (Orang Laut) communities around the Myanmar Coast, Malayan Peninsula, and Riau Islands were a major source of manpower for the shipping.
Roots and Pre-1945 Development of the Language of Indonesian Intellectual Discourse, contribution to the Seminar: Indonesian Islamic Literature and Culture on the Tag der offenen Moschee, Berlin, 3 October 2009.The presentation was addressed to a wider public, mostly Indonesian students.
Some obscure Austroasiatic borrowings in Indonesian and Old Malay, contribution to: 11th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (11·ICAL), Aussois, France, 2226 June 2009.
[Powerpoint presentation as pdf, 8.8 Mb]Discusses the etymology of some loan-words from Mon-Khmer (specifically also: Old Mon, Old Khmer), Aslian, and other Austroasiatic origin in Malay. Various time levels at which the respective loans took place, and various transmission routes are considered, also further transmission from Malay into other Austronesian languages. Includes etymologies of Old Malay karayan (a high title), and kerbau water buffalo, elang kite, hawk, eagle, pérak silver, emas gold, dusun village community, meriam canon, ketiak and kélék armpit, ketam crab, kembar twin, helai sheet, a.o.
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Bilingualitas dan Komunikasi Sosial / Bilinguisme et communication sociale, contribution to: Lauteur dépaysé. Ecrivains de double appartenance culturelle, Association franco-indonésienne Pasar Malam, Paris, October 28, 2006.
[available in Indonesian as pdf]
Yavadvipa and the Merapi volcano in West Sumatra, paper presented at the Workshop: From Distant Tales Archaeology and Ethnohistory in the Highlands of Sumatra, Free University of Berlin, Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, September 21-23, 2006.
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Report to the Lokakarya Terjemahan Naskah Tanjung Tanah, Jakarta, December 13-17, 2004.
Looks alike, sounds alike, translates differently: Grammaticalization and degrammaticalization, a source of possible pitfalls for the translator, paper presented at the Lokakarya Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia, Frankfurt am Main, May 7-8, 2004.
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Distinguishing Cognate Homonym Pairs in Indonesian, paper presented at the 7th International Symposium on Malay/ Indonesian Linguistics, Nijmegen, June 27-28, 2003.Strives to disprove the erronous reputation of Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) as a language in which homonym (and homograph) cognate pairs that complicate automatic text processing are almost non-existant, by calling attention to the main groups of homonym cognate pairs. Particular attention is directed to pairs consisting of a fixed expression or a compound word, and the corresponding free word group or phrase. Inspects composites of the type verbal-stem + noun, and noun + noun, and proposes distinguishing criteria based on the morphology.
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Malayan Words and Malayan things: Earliest lexical souvenirs of European travelers from an exotic archipelago, paper presented at the ATMA-Goethe Universität Colloquium German-speaking scholarship and the Malay world: Exploring an empirical tradition, Bangi, Selangor, 1112 March 2002.Inspects the special lexical aspect in the communication of exotic experiences of European visitors of the Malayan world in 17th-century works of German scholars and contemporary memoirs of German employees of the Dutch East India Company.
The first standard grammar of Malay: George Werndly's 1736 Maleische Spraakkunst, paper presented at the ATMA-Goethe Universität Colloquium German-speaking scholarship and the Malay world: Exploring an empirical tradition, Bangi, Selangor, 1112 March 2002.The language policy in Dutch missionary publication in Malay underwent a fundamental transition at the turn of the 17th to 18th century, that was completed with the publication of the Malay Bible of 1731 (NT) and 1733 (OT). George Werndly played a leading role in the final phase, particularly in formulating the new standard of Malay that was to be used. Upon a 1732 spelling guide followed the standard grammar of 1736 to be inspected here. The paper provides a synopsis of Werndly's grammar against the background of contemporary linguistic scholarship in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands.
The Internet Factor in Indonesia: Was that All?, paper presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Washington D.C., April 47, 2002. Panel 87: Apakabar 19902002: Pluralism on the Internet.
[available as pdf]Follows the beginnings of computer sciences and development of internet communication facilities in Indonesia, the role this played in the political events of the 1990-s, particularly as means of dissipating and gaining access to information under conditions of censorship.
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Linguistic Variety in Later 19th-Century Dutch-Edited Malay Publications, paper presented at the 5th International Symposium on Malay / Indonesian Linguistics, Leipzig, 16-17 June 2001.Malay-language publishing in colonial Indonesia (Netherlands East Indies) can be divided into three periods. The first, from the early 17th century till the mid 19th, of Dutch-edited almost exclusively Christian missionary publications. The third and last period, from 1900 till 1942, characterized by secular publications of a wide range of genres and topics, mainly by indigenous editors (beside some Dutch, Sino- and Arabo-Indonesian). This paper inspects the intervening second period, characterized by a secular thematic and editorial diversification of mainly Dutch edited publications, but doe not go into contemporary Sino-Indonesian-edited publishing.
The editorial language situation in this period reveals a lack of either authority or coordination of language expertise, leading to a high degree of linguistic variety, in the spelling as well as in the dialect of Malay employed. This is illustrated by a wide scope of texts, including official instructions and legal texts, public reading books, as well as publicistic or journalistic texts. Attention is directed to Dutch renderings of various forms of Low Malay (specifically Javanese and Jakartan Bazaar Malay), or of a more scholarly version of Malay exhibiting variously significant influence of the former. Also inspected are reflections of Ambon Malay influence, possibly mediated by Service Malay (Dienst-Maleisch), and of the Dutch native speech of the editors or writers on their Malay.
Possible connections are drawn to incorporation of the same features into the Bazaar Malay of indigenous-edited publishing and public or political discourse of the subsequent period. A table with the various spelling systems in use is appended.
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The Acquisition and Implementation of Borrowed Traditions in Indonesian Malay, paper presented at the 3rd Symposium on Malay / Indonesian Linguistics, Amsterdam, 24-25 August 1999.An examination of the typological acommodation of Indonesian Malay to the transition from the "traditional" to the "modernist" in a confluence of oriental and occidental tradition in Indonesian culture. Acquisition of following novel phonological and grammatical features are inspected: (a) new consonantal phonemes /f/, /S/, /c/, and /z/; (b) consonant alternation at suffixation (t/s, k/s); (c) derivation of adjectives from nouns; (d) derivation of feminine variants of nouns denoting persons; (e) calqued constructions involving grammatical words; (f) nominal phrases with reversed word order.
One typical pattern seems to to be, that the "imported" feature is already attested in Malay on the eve of European contact (typically through contact with Sankrit and Arabic), which tended to "prepare the grounds" for a proliferation of the feature under influence from Dutch and English in the 20th century. The crucial phase of fundamental reorientation in the typology seems to have taken place in non-standard Indonesian Malay in the first half of this century.
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High and Low Malay in 17th Century Missionary Schooling in Indonesia, paper presented at the 2nd Conference of the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS-2), Hamburg, 2-5 Sept. 1998.Text citations from 17th century Malay and bilingual Dutch-Malay publications of Dutch authors, as well as excerpts from contemporary Dutch records and correspondence provide insights into circumstances leading to abandonment of Dutch and adoption of Malay as language of tuition in missionary schooling, and into modalities of the controversy existing at that time concerning implementation of either High or Low Malay.
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The First Decade of the Commissie voor de Volkslectuur, paper presented at the 10th European Colloquium on Indonesian and Malay Studies, Berlin.A Study of the publishing activity of the Commissie before 1920, revealing a different orientation than the that of the better-known subsequent period. The results throws additional light on the nature of the re-orientation of the Commissie around 1919-1920, suggesting some conclusions on the culture and language policy of the colonial administration of that time.
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Reflection of PAN *R as Vowel, paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Leiden.
Linguistic and Phonological Data towards Dating Austronesian Activity in India and Sri Lanka, paper presented at the World Archaeological Congress3, New Delhi.A revised version, split into three individual papers, has meanwhile appeared in Archaeology and Language vols. II-IV (1998 & 1999).
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Zur Ontogenese des austronesischen und malaiischen Schiffes, paper presented at the Tagung des Südostasienarbeitskreises,
Königstein im Taunus, October 1992 (in German).A3-sized (reduced) black&white jpg-s of the 8-sheet original presentation:
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