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 name Austronesian comes from Latin auster “south wind” plus Ancient Greek νῆσος nêsos “island”.
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.