Tracing Wanderwörter in Southeast Asia

Date & Time

Wed & Thu 7th – 8th September 2022


Trainee Centre 2.40


Loanwords that are shared by multiple languages are known as Wanderwörter and their distribution usually follows trade networks. Languages throughout the Insular Southeast Asia are connected by a web of Wanderwörter which have diffused there since the antiquity along maritime trade routes, through political alliances, and shared religions. Maritime routes were constrained by the watercraft design, monsoon patterns and sea currents, each of which significantly affects the travel distance and travel direction, which in their turn determine the plausible trade network in various periods. 

It is our aim to explore new inter-disciplinary approaches that can support us in charting the layered network of past maritime routes and handle the evidence available in linguistics and other disciplines, such as archaeology, history, or anthropology.

In particular we seek to address the following questions regarding the
history, linguistic analysis, and data structure.

Historical concerns
What historical periods ought to be distinguished regarding the spread of the Wanderwörter? What areas and settlements are characteristic of each period and what kind of linguistic landscape characterised them?
What role does the watercraft innovation play in the language contact outcomes? What was the structure of the trading routes (ports, hinterlands, backwaters)?

Linguistic analysis
What are the ways to use the information about semantic shift?
Can the phonological changes in loanwords be dealt with
systematically at this stage?

How much does the coverage of each language matter and how
should it be measured?
How to link the data (wordnet and other options) and relate to other databases?
What should be the model to aggregate the data from various
authors, such as experts working on individual languages?


Workshop participants: 

David Moeljadi | Kanda University, Japan
Ekaterina Baklanova | Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Francis Bond | Palacký University Olomouc
Jiří Jákl | Heidelberg University, Germany
Jiří Vomlel | Czech Academy of Sciences
Kirsten Culhane | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
Luis Morgado da Costa | Palacký University Olomouc
Ondřej Kučera | Palacký University Olomouc
Owen Edwards | Leiden University, the Netherlands
Tom Hoogervorst | Leiden University, the Netherlands
Tomáš Petrů | Czech Academy of Sciences
Václav Kratochvíl | Czech Academy of Sciences
Waruno Mahdi | Fritz Haber Institute – Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany

František Kratochvíl, Alexander Adelaar, George Saad | Palacký University Olomouc