Our International Director and the founder of Sulawesi Language Alliance is David Mead. David received a master’s degree in linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984, and earned his PhD in linguistics from Rice University in 1998. He is an experienced as well as passionate surveyor and language field researcher.
David first went to Sulawesi in 1987 and has since traveled widely across the island, working with speakers of indigenous languages in five out of the island’s six provinces (the only exception is Gorontalo Province). While David has appreciated opportunities to teach linguistics in the United States, Canada and Indonesia, the plight of Sulawesi’s endangered languages has created a desire to devote more time and effort to working directly and intimately with speakers themselves.
Overview of Work Experience
|2008–present||founder and international director, Sulawesi Language Alliance|
|1999–2008||Sulawesi regional survey coordinator, Indo-Pacific Branch of SIL|
|1999–2005||linguistics coordinator, Indo-Pacific Branch of SIL|
|1998–1999||post-doctorate position for research, Rice University|
|1993–1998||teaching assistant and degree program, Rice University|
|1992||invited lecturer, fall semester, Trinity Western University|
|1990–1993||adjunct assistant professor, University of Texas at Arlington|
|1987–1989||Indonesian language learning and survey in central and southeastern Sulawesi; professor of linguistics at Hasanuddin University|
David also has continuing research interests in Kulisusu (since 1996) and Mori Bawah (since 2003), including analysis of the sound system and grammar, orthography design, text collection, dictionary development, website development, and beginning curriculum design.
|1998||Proto–Bungku-Tolaki: Reconstruction of its phonology and aspects of its morphosyntax. Ph.D. dissertation. Rice University, Houston, TX.|
|1999||The Bungku-Tolaki languages of south-eastern Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Pacific Linguistics, D-91.) Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2011||by Samuel J. Esser, translated by David Mead. Phonology and morphology of Mori. (SIL e-Books, 27.) Dallas: SIL International. Online. URL: http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/43176.|
|2007||Mead, David (ed.) 10-ICAL historical comparative papers. Journal special issue. Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures, 15.|
|2007||Mead, David (ed.) 10-ICAL Sumatra papers. Journal special issue. Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures, 16.|
|1999||Mead, David (ed.) Studies in Sulawesi linguistics, part 5. (NUSA Linguistics studies of Indonesian and other languages in Indonesia, 45). Jakarta: Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Open-access archive. URL: http://sealang.net/nusa/.]|
|2015||with Joanna Smith. The focus systems of Wotu, Barang-barang and Wolio: Synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Language change in Austronesian languages (Asia-Pacific Linguistics, 018; Studies in Austronesian Linguistics, 004), edited by Malcolm Ross and I Wayan Arka, 51–78. Canberra: Australian National University. Online. URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/13386.|
|2009||Kinship terms in Bungku-Tolaki languages: Inheritance, innovation and borrowing. Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: A festschrift for Robert Blust, (Pacific Linguistics, 601), edited by Sander Adelaar and Andrew Pawley, 489–507. Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2008||with Scott Youngman. Verb serialization in Tolaki. Serial verb constructions in Austronesian and Papuan languages (Pacific Linguistics, 594), edited by Gunter Senft and Miriam van Staden, 113–139. Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2008||Functions of the Mori Bawah indefinite particle ba: Towards a comparative study. Language and text in the Austronesian world: Studies in honour of Ülo Sirk (LINCOM Studies in Austronesian Linguistics, 6), edited by Yury A. Lander and Alexander K. Ogloblin, 209–232. Meunchen: LINCOM.|
|2006||Language endangerment and the Bible translation task in Indonesia. Penerjemah, penerjemahan Alkitab, dan pembina penerjemahan, edited by Tim Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia, 14–20. Jakarta: LAI.|
|2005||Mori Bawah. The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar, edited by Nikolaus Himmelmann and Sander Adelaar, 683–708. London: Routledge.|
|2003||The Saluan-Banggai microgroup of eastern Sulawesi. Issues in Austronesian historical phonology (Pacific Linguistics, 550), edited by John Lynch, 65–86. Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2003||Evidence for a Celebic supergroup. Issues in Austronesian historical phonology (Pacific Linguistics, 550), edited by John Lynch, 115–141. Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2002||Proto-Celebic Focus Revisited. The history and typology of Western Austronesian voice systems (Pacific Linguistics, 518), edited by Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross, 143–177. Canberra: Australian National University.|
|2001||A preliminary sketch of the Bobongko language. Studies in Sulawesi Linguistics, part 7 (NUSA Linguistic Studies of Indonesian and Other Languages in Indonesia, 49), edited by Wyn D. Laidig, 61–94. Jakarta: Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v49-p61-94.pdf (accessed January 14, 2014).]|
|2001||Ihwal konjungsi dalam Bahasa Mori Bawah di Sulawesi Tengah. PELBBA 14: Tipologi bahasa pragmatik pengajaran bahasa, edited by Bambang Kaswanti Purwo, 1–32. Yogyakarta: Kanisius.|
|1999||Active, passive and antipassive in Bungku-Tolaki languages. Studies in Sulawesi Linguistics, part 5 (NUSA Linguistic studies of Indonesian and other languages in Indonesia, 45), edited by David Mead, 113–145. Jakarta: Universitas Atma Jaya. [Reproduced online. URL: http://sealang.net/archives/nusa/pdf/nusa-v45-p113-145.pdf (accessed January 14, 2014).]|
|1991||with Melanie Mead. Survey of the Pamona dialects of Kecamatan Bungku Tengah. UNHAS-SIL: more Sulawesi sociolinguistic surveys, 1987–1991 (Workpapers in Indonesian languages and cultures, 11), ed. by Timothy Friberg, 121–142. Ujung Pandang: Summer Institute of Linguistics.|
|1982||with Ron Artigue. Transport limitation of oxygen in multicell spheroids as determined by mathematical modeling. Biomedical engineering I: Recent developments, edited by Subrata Saha, 205–208. New York: Pergamon.|
|2008||When to use a genitive pronoun in Mori Bawah (Sulawesi, Indonesia). 10-ICAL pronoun papers, edited by Sue McQuay, special issue. Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures 17:137–178.|
|2004||Off the cassette tape and onto CD: Migrating analog audio data to digital format. Word & Deed 3.1:73–82.|
|2001||The numeral confix *i‑ ‑(e)n. Oceanic Linguistics 40:167–176.|
|2001||Review of “Demonstratives: Form, function and grammaticalization” by Holger Diessel. Notes on Linguistics 4:69–72.|
|1996||The evidence for final consonants in Proto-Bungku-Tolaki. Oceanic Linguistics 35:180–194.|
Working Papers and Other Publications
|2015||with Edy Pasanda. An initial appreciation of the dialect situation in Saluan and Batui. (SIL Electronic Survey Reports, 2015-013.) Online. URL: http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/63728.|
|2013||An initial assessment of the vitality of the indigenous languages of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Indonesia and Malaysia EGIDS Audit. Online. URL: https://sites.google.com/site/nusantaralanguagevitality/sulawesi-language-vitality.|
|2011||with Hermanto Lim. Chinese in Indonesia: A background study. (SIL Electronic Survey Reports, 2011-028.) Dallas: SIL International. Online. URL: http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/41656.|
|2007||with Myung-young Lee. Mapping Indonesian Bajau communities in Sulawesi. (SIL Electronic Survey Reports, 2007-019.) Dallas: SIL International. Online. URL: http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/9005.|
|1995||The Bungku-Tolaki languages: Wordlists. 2 volumes. Kendari: Universitas Haluoleo.|
In addition David has prepared numerous articles for the Sulang Language Data and Working Papers series, which are published on this website.
A Personal Testimony
I know a number of linguists who, like me, were drawn into the field by language itself, by language data as it were. To be the first to study a language—to know that it is intricately patterned and that it is your job to discover those patterns—is the most intellectually stimulating task I have ever engaged in. In this grand pursuit, however, I faced a challenge: could I busy myself just with language, abstracted from context, without concern for the people who spoke it?
I’m ready to work in the trenches. For a time I had dreamed of being well known in academic circles. Now I would trade that for a small place in the hearts of the people of Sulawesi.
International Director David Mead with Batui speakers in Central Sulawesi
About Sulawesi Language Alliance