Universiteit Leiden

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Aone van Engelenhoven

University Lecturer Southeast Asian Linguistics

Dr. A.T.P.G. van Engelenhoven
+31 71 527 2072

Aone van Engelenhoven is a University Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Aone van Engelenhoven

Fields of interest

My research focuses on several linguistic and anthropological linguistic issues in Indonesia , and East Timor, and among Moluccan migrants in the Netherlands and can be distinguished in historical linguistics (the reconstruction of the proto languages of the Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages in Southwest Maluku and their location in their respective language trees), descriptive linguistics (grammatical description of minority languages in Indonesia and East Timor), oral traditions (semiotics and mnemonics of storytelling), language and cognition (the use of Malay and indigenous languages for the transfer of ritual knowledge, the relation between event categorization in cognition and transitivity in grammar).



PhD in Linguistics, Leiden University 1995
MA in Comparative Linguistics, Leiden University 1987


  • 2008 – present: Lecturer of Southeast Asian Linguistics, spec. Austronesian languages, dep. of South and Southeast Asian Studies, Leiden University.
  • 2004 – 2008: Lecturer of Indonesian language and Austronesian linguistics, dep. of Languages and Cultures of Indonesia, Leiden University.
  • 1993-2004: Lecturer of Austronesian linguistics, dep. of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, Leiden University.
  • 1990-1993: PhD Researcher (through a fund of The Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research, The Hague), Leiden University
  • 1988-1990: Junior researcher in the Indonesian Linguistics Development Project II, Leiden University.

Key publications

A key publication of each field of interest is listed below. For a full list I refer to the top of this page.

  1. (historical linguistics:) ‘The position of Makuva among the Austronesian languages of East Timor and Southwest Maluku’, 2009, in K. Alexander Adelaar and Andrew Pawley (eds) Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: a festschrift for Bob Blust, 425-441, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics 601.
  2. (descriptive linguistics:) Leti, a language of Southwest Maluku, 2004, VKI 221, Leiden: KITLV Press.
  3. (oral traditions:) ‘The Spoor of the mythical Sailfish: Narrative Topology and Narrative Artefacts in Southwest Maluku (Indonesia) and Tutuala (East Timor)’, 2013, in Nicole Revel (Ed.) Songs of Memory in islands of Southeast Asia, 245-278, Newcastle upon Time: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  4. (language and cognition:) ‘Concealment, Maintenance and Renaissance: language and ethnicity in the Moluccan community in the Netherlands’, 2002, in: David Bradley and Maya Bradley (eds) Language Maintenance for Endangered Languages: an active approach, 272-309, London: Curzon Press.

Edited volumes

  • Searching the Invariant, Semiotactic Explorations into Meaning, 2011, Münich: LINCOM Europe. (second editor to Hetty Geerdink).
  • Diversidade Cultural na Construção da Nação e do Estado em Timor Leste, 2006, Porto: Publicações UFP. (second editor to Paulo Castro Seixas).

Recent reviews

  • Review [2011] of Margaret Florey, 2010, Endangered languages of Austronesia (Oxford: Oxford University Press), Anthropological Linguistics (53)1:81-89.
  • Review [2008] of Yohanes Manhitu, 2007, Kamus Indonesia-Tetun, Tetun-Indonesia (Jakarta: Penerbit BT Gramedia Utama Pustaka), Wacana JurnalIlmu Pengetahuan Budaya.


My teaching at Leiden university comprises on the BA level Introductory and Advanced courses of Indonesian language teaching, Language and Culture in South and Southeast Asia, Introduction to Oral Traditions of South and Southeast Asia and Descriptive Linguistics and on the MA level Oral Traditions Research. Outside the academy I teach different levels of Indonesian. Except for the Descriptive Linguistics BA course, all courses are taught in English. 

PhD supervision

Leiden University

Juliette Huber, A Grammar of Makalero: a Papuan language of East Timor, degree awarded 2011 (together with Maarten Mous, LUCL)

Edegar da Conceição Savio Studi sosiolinguistik bahasa Fataluku di Lautém  (A Sociolinguistic Study of the Fataluku Language in Lautém), degree awarded 2016 (together with Cees van Dijk, LIAS and Sjaak Kroon, Tilburg University)

Jermy Balukh a Grammar of Ndao, A Minority Language of Eastern Indonesia, degree expected in 2016 (together with Maarten Mous, LUCL)

Maaike van Naerssen A contrastive analysis of conversational conventions in Dutch and Indonesian, degree expected in 2017 (together with Ton van Haaften, LUCL)

Nazarudin Language use in Woirata (Kisar Island, Indonesia), degree expected in 2017 (together with Maarten Mous, LUCL). 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Paulus Pattikayhatu Van binnenuit. De psalmen vertaald in de landstaal van Nusalaut (“From within. The psalms translated into the regional language of Nusalaut”), degree awarded 2013 (together with Martien Brinkman, Vrije Universiteit,  and Sjaak van ‘t Kruis, PKN)

Grants and awards

2009-2012: Integrated Programme of NWO-WOTRO: Becoming a nation of readers inEast Timor: Language policy and adult literacy development in a multilingual context (project leaders: Prof.dr. Sjaak Kroon and Dr. Jeanne Kurvers, University of Tilburg)

2009-2011: Netherlands Research Council, Netherlands Academy of Sciences, Social Science Collaborative Research between Europe and China Programme: Documentation and Archiving of Oral Tradition: Researches and Interdisiciplinary Approaches

2006-2010: Fundação Para a Ciência e a Tecnologia: Cultural Negotiation as CoreHeritage in Timor-Leste Project (project leader: Dr. Paulo Castro Seixas, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Porto)

2005-2008: Netherlands Research Council, Endangered Languages Programme: Fataluku Language Project

2003: Rausing Endangered Languages Programme: The Maku’a Pilot Project

2001: UNESCO Endangered Languages Fund: Endangered Languages of West and Central Seram Island, eastern Indonesia (project leader: Dr. Margaret Florey, Monash University, Melbourne)

1998-2000: Australian Research Council: Language maintenance: an active approach (project leader: Dr. David Bradley, LaTrobe University, Bundoora)

1990-1994: Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research: PhD Project Leti, a language in Southwest Maluku, Indonesia

Administration and service to the profession

2014 – present: member of the Departmental Teaching Committee

2014 – present: advisor to the directorate of the Indonesian Oral Traditions Association (Asosiasi Tradisi Lisan)

2009- 2012: member of the board of BA examinors (2009-2011 as secretary) at the department of South and Southeast Asian Studies.

2004-2007: member of the department’s board (2004-2005 as secretary) at the department of Languages and Cultures of Indonesia.

1993-2004: member respectively of the curriculum committee (1993-1997 as secretary) and of the department’s board (1999-2001 as treasurer), at the department of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania.

2005 – present: Fataluku and Tetun translation advisor/facilitator to the United Bibles Societies (Brisbane, Australia)

2001 – present: board member of the National Institute of Linguistics (National Institute of Linguistics, National University of East Timor, Dili)

1997 -2003: Contributor to the Linguistic Bibliography (Dordrecht: Kluwers, The Hague: De Koninklijke Bibliotheek)

University Lecturer Southeast Asian Linguistics

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Indonesie

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL Taalwetenschap



  • Asosiasi Tradi Lisan/ Oral Traditions Association of Indonesia Head of the Europe Branch
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