Pacific Linguistics logo and title

Catalogue & Orders Open Access Journals, Series,
For Authors &
About Asia-Pacific Linguistics/Pacific Linguistics Pacific Linguistics DeGruyterMouton Monographs Contact us

About Asia-Pacific Linguistics/Pacific Linguistics Publishers

Since its establishment in 1963, through to the restructuring of 2012, Pacific Linguistics published about six hundred books. The authors and editors of our publications are drawn from a wide range of institutions around the world, and our publications are refereed by international scholars with relevant expertise.

Our publications are an important source of material for linguists and others interested in the Pacific and neighbouring areas, as well as for linguists with interests in language typology, sociolinguistics, language contact and the reconstruction of linguistic change and culture history. Pacific Linguistics is proud to act as a vehicle for the dissemination of knowledge about the languages of the Pacific and the Pacific Rim, many of which are little known, and to bring them to the attention of scholars around the world, as well as providing local communities with published language material, at a time when many minority languages are under threat.

From 2012, Pacific Linguistics monographs are published by De Gruyter Mouton in Berlin, and the Studies in Language Change subseries is now an independent De Gruyter Mouton series. Additionally we publish open access e-books under in our Asia-Pacific Lingusitics series.

A little history

Pacific Linguistics was established in 1963 through an initial grant from the Hunter Douglas Fund.
The earliest books were published in the name of the Linguistic Circle of Canberra. The founding editor was Professor Stephen A. Wurm, who sadly passed away late in 2001.

From 1963 until 1999 Pacific Linguistics published four series:

  • Series A: Occasional Papers; collections of shorter papers, usually on a single topic or area
  • Series B: Monographs of intermediate length.
  • Series C: Books; publications of greater length, especially reference books such as dictionaries and grammars, and conference proceedings.
  • Series D: Special Publications; including archival materials, pedagogical works, maps, audiovisual productions, and materials that do not fit into the other series.

From the beginning of 2000, only a single series was been published, beginning with Pacific Linguistics 501. We are sometimes asked why we abandoned the four series. There were a number of reasons. Series A had long been problematic, as a volume could not be published until enough papers about languages of the relevant area/family were available to fill it, and this sometimes took years, to the annoyance of authors whose papers had already been accepted for publication. Series A was accordingly terminated. The borderline between Series B and C had always been hazy, and Series D simply included anything that didn't fit into Series A, B and C. An added problem which readers complained of was that some libraries treated our series as journals and some would not allow them to leave the library, whereas most of our publications are properly catalogued as books, and we were keen to emphasise that our publications are books.

The Editorial Board

The Editorial Board meets once a month. The Board makes decisions on policy and about newly submitted manuscripts, and reviews the progress of manuscripts through the publishing process. At the moment the members are:

Managing editor:

Dr. Bethwyn Evans,
(Note: Paul Sidwell stepped down as Managing Editor on May 8, 2014)

Other editorial board members:

Dr Wayan Arka,
Dr Mark Donohue,
Dr T. Mark Ellison,
Professor Nicholas Evans,
Dr Gwendolyn Hyslop,
Dr Simon Greenhill,
Dr David Nash (joint ALS representative),
Dr Bill Palmer,
Dr Dineke Schokkin,
Dr Paul Sidwell,
Dr Jane Simpson (joint ALS representative),
Emeritus Professor Andrew Pawley,
Emeritus Professor Malcolm Ross,

Editorial Advisory Board

The Editorial Advisory Board is made up of specialists from across the relevant fields. PL publications are peer-reviewed, and our reviewers are often (but not exclusively) drawn from the Editorial Advisory Board, the members of which are listed below.

Karen Adams, Arizona State University
Alexander Adelaar, University of Melbourne
Peter Austin, School of Oriental and African Studies
Byron Bender, University of Hawai'i
Walter Bisang, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Robert Blust, University of Hawai'i
David Bradley, La Trobe University
Lyle Campbell, University of Hawai'i
James Collins, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Bernard Comrie, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Soenjono Dardjowidjojo, Universitas Atma Jaya
Matthew Dryer, State University of New York at Buffalo
Jerold A. Edmondson, University of Texas at Arlington
Margaret Florey, Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity
William Foley, University of Sydney
Karl Franklin, SIL International
Charles Grimes, SIL International
Nikolaus Himmelmann, Universität zu Köln
Bambang Kaswanti Purwo, Universitas Atma Jaya
Harold Koch, The Australian National University
Lillian Huang, National Taiwan Normal University
Marian Klamer, Universiteit Leiden
Frantisek Lichtenberk, University of Auckland
John Lynch, University of the South Pacific
Patrick McConvell, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
William McGregor, Aarhus Universitet
Ulrike Mosel, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Claire Moyse-Faurie, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Bernd Nothofer, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Ger Reesink, Universiteit Leiden
Lawrence Reid, University of Hawai'i
Jean-Claude Rivierre, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Melenaite Taumoefolau, University of Auckland
Tasaku Tsunoda, University of Tokyo
John Wolff, Cornell University
Elizabeth Zeitoun, Academica Sinica

Commercial Status of Asia-Pacific Linguistics

Publishing activities conducted out of the Department of Linguistics are not done for profit, and in fact have rarely achieve cost recovery. Nonethless, we try to maintain a high publishing standard. These motives determine much in the way that we go about our publishing activities. For example, we do not pay royalties to authors, and we ask authors not to submit a manuscript to another publisher at the same time as it is submitted to us, as this may result in our expending money on a manuscript that someone else publishes. We also require authors to participate actively in the process of preparing the manuscript for publication (see our pages for authors).

Historically our activities were financed largely from the sales of our books to libraries and individuals throughout the world, with some assistance from the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University, and, from 2002 to 2012, from the Australian Linguistic Society. With the move to mostly open access publications our income stream is substantially reduced, and author involvement becomes more important than ever.

DEEWR Status

Asia-Pacific Linguistics (formerly Pacific Linguistics Publishers) is recognised as a publisher by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations of the Commonwealth of Australia with regard to the award of points for publications by staff in higher education institutions.

From July 2012 the publisher of the hard copy monograph series will be De Gruyter Mouton (Berlin).