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Workshop on Sri Lanka Malay

Workshop on Sri Lanka Malay

Date: November 10, 2010 (Wednesday)

Place: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig (Germany)

Organised by:

  • Sebastian Nordhoff (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology)

Local organizer:

  • Claudia Schmidt (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)



Sri Lanka Malay is arguably one of the most interesting contact languages. The traditional Malay-based lexicon is retained, but the grammar has undergone radical change and is now basically of Dravidian typology. Lack of European input and “regrammaticization” instead of relexification make this contact language particularly interesting.

Research on this language has chiefly been undertaken by more or less isolated researchers at different parts of the globe. Some fundamental issues in the study of Sri Lanka Malay are far from having achieved consensus, most notably the genesis, where the relevance of first language acquisition against second language acquisition and the (ir)relevance of Sinhala as a contact language are still contested topics.

This meeting will bring together for the first time a great majority of all researchers in order to collect hypotheses and pieces of evidence and discuss the relative merit thereof. The following researchers will participate in the meeting:

  • Peter Bakker (University of Arhus, Linguistics Department)
  • David Gil (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)
  • Mohamed Jaffar (York University, Toronto, ON, Canada )
  • Sebastian Nordhoff (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)
  • Scott Paauw (Rochester University, US)
  • Romola Rasool (University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka)
  • Peter Slomanson (University of Aarhus)
  • Ian Smith (York University, Canada)

The meeting takes place just before the APiCS Conference.