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The Austronesian languages are a family of languages widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia. Malagasy is a geographic outlier, which is spoken on Madagascar. Austronesian has ten primary subgroups, nine of them found in Taiwan (the Formosan languages) and one ancestral to all other members of the family (Malayo-Polynesian languages). Austronesian is one of the largest language families in the world, both in terms of number of languages (1244 according to Ethnologue) and in terms of the geographical extent of the homelands of its languages (from Madagascar to Easter Island).








The term Austronesian was coined by Wilhelm Schmidt. It comes from the Latin auster and the Ancient Greek nêsos in reference to the islands south of the Asian mainland.


The International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (ICAL) gathers scholars who work on all aspects of Austronesian languages from varying theoretical and methodological perspectives. It serves as a significant platform for sharing new knowledge and ideas, and for discussing emerging research trends in the context of Austronesian Linguistics. Consequently, it aims to sustain the conversations and discussions on one of the world’s largest and most diverse language families in the areas of historical and comparative linguistics, morphosyntax, language documentation and description, and other relevant subfields of linguistics. ICAL started as a quadrennial conference in 1974, and is now held periodically every 2-3 years and has already been hosted by various institutions around the world.


Following the success of the past ICALs, and in commemoration of its 50th year of inception, the Sixteenth International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (16-ICAL) is returning to the Philippines and will be held at the De La Salle University, Manila on 20-24 June, 2024. This 5-day event is jointly hosted by the Department of English and Applied Linguistics, De La Salle University (DLSU-DEAL); the Linguistic Society of the Philippines (LSP), and the Department of Linguistics, University of the Philippines Diliman (UP-LINGG).


Image by Savannah Rohleder


January 2-7, 1974

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Parliament House


January 4-12, 1978

Canberra, Australia

Image by Jeremy Bishop


January 19-24, 1981

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Image by Zunnoon Ahmed


August 13-18, 1984

Suva, Fiji 

Image by Raquel Moss


January 11-16, 1988

Auckland, New Zealand


  • Alexander Adelaar (The University of Melbourne, Australia)

  • Laura Arnold (University of Edinburgh, Scotland)

  • Isabelle Bril (CNRS, France)

  • Shirley Dita (De La Salle University, the Philippines)

  • Emily Gasser (Swarthmore College, USA)

  • David Gil (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany)

  • Atsuko Kanda Utsumi (Meisei University, Japan)

  • Daniel Kaufman (The City University of New York, USA)

  • František Kratochvíl (Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia)

  • Bill Palmer (University of Newcastle, Australia)

  • Narivelo Rajaonarimanana (University of Antananarivo, Madagascar)

  • Baholisoa Simone Ralalaoherivony (University of Antananarivo, Madagascar)

  • Antonia Soriente (University of Naples "L’Orientale", Italy)

  • Elizabeth Zeitoun (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

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