Schapper, Dr. Antoinette

Antoinette Schapper is a linguist working in eastern Indonesia. She came to KITLV in 2014 on an NWO VENI project The Evolution of the Lexicon: Explorations in Lexical Stability, Semantic Shift and Borrowing in a Papuan Language Family.

Schapper’s primary research has focussed on Papuan languages of the Timor-Alor-Pantar family. She graduated with a Ph.D. from The Australian National University in 2010 with a grammar of Bunaq, a Papuan language of central Timor. This work won the ALT’s Panini Prize and the ANU’s Stephen Wurm Prize. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the ASF project ‘Alor-Pantar languages: Origins and Theorectical Impact,’ involving extensive fieldwork on Alor languages, especially Kamang and Wersing, as well as Kiraman and Abui.Alongside this, Antoinette has been working with proximate Austronesian-speaking communities. In Timor, she has worked to record Tokodede and Kemak. More recently, Antoinette received a grant from the DoBeS program of the Volkswagen Foundation to conduct fieldwork in the Aru Islands. Together with an interdisciplinary team, she is documenting the highly endangered language-culture system of Ujir, a language of north-west Aru.

Schapper’s research combines primary documentation of little-known languages, and induction from these to broader theoretical issues about the nature of language, their histories and limits. Her research aims to characterise and explain the typology of languages of Island Southeast Asia, especially inside Wallacea (eastern Indonesia), primarily from an evolutionary perspective.

Selected Publications

(ed.) 2014. Papuan languages of Timor-Alor-Pantar. Sketch grammars. Volume 1. Berlin: Pacific Linguistics, Mouton de Gruyter.

(with Harald Hammarström) Innovative complex numerals and numeral bases in Austronesian languages of Eastern Indonesia and East Timor. Oceanic Linguistics 52.2 (2013): 425-456.

(with Juliette Huber and Aone van Engelenhoven) ‘The historical relations of the Papuan languages of Timor and Kisar.’ Language and Linguistics in Melanesia: Special Issue On the History, Contact & Classification of Papuan languages, 2012, 194-242.

‘Finding Bunaq: The homeland and expansion of the Bunaq in central Timor.’ In Life and Land in Timor: Ethnographic Papers, ed. by Andrew McWilliam and Elizabeth G. Traube. Canberra: ANU E-Press, 2011. 163-186.

(with  Marten Manimau) Dictionary of Kamang: Kamang – Indonesian – English. Kupang, Indonesia: UBB-GMIT, 2011.

(with Lila San Roque) ‘Demonstratives and non-embedded nominalisations in the Papuan languages of south-east Indonesia.’ Studies in Language 35.2 (2011): 378-406.

‘Phalanger facts: Notes on Blust’s marsupial reconstructions.’ Oceanic Linguistics 50.1 (2011): 154-168.

‘Neuter gender in eastern Indonesia.’ Oceanic Linguistics 49.2 (2010): 407-435.