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Historical linguistics , lexicography and ethnology

Robert Blust, linguist, educator. Research grant, National Science Foundation, 1990-1993, National Science Council, 1994, Pacific Cultural Foundation, 1995-1996.


Robert Blust was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in California.


Bachelor in Anthropology, University Hawai, 1967. Master of Arts in Linguistics, University Hawai, 1968. Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, University Hawai, 1974.


Blust specializes in the Austronesian languages and has made major contributions to the field of Austronesian linguistics. Currently, he is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and served as the department chair from 2005 to 2008. Austronesian Languages He also serves as the review editor for the Oceanic Linguistics, an academic journal that covers the Austronesian languages.

Blust is best known for his work on Austronesian languages, including a large Austronesian comparative dictionary (Blust 1995c) and a Thao-English dictionary (Blust 2003b). Another one of his well-known works is a 2009 work called The Austronesian Languages, which is the first single-authored book to cover all aspects (phonology, syntax, morphology, sound changes, classification, etc) of the Austronesian language family in its entirety. Field work Blust has done field work on 97 Austronesian languages spoken in locations such as Sarawak, Papua New Guinea, and Taiwan.

In Taiwan, he has performed field work on Formosan languages such as Thao, Kavalan, Pazeh, Amis, Paiwan and Saisiyat. His dictionary of the highly endangered Thao language is currently the most complete of any Formosan language dictionary, containing over 1,100 pages. Blust also has an abiding interest in both linguistic and cultural aspects of rainbows and dragons.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor articles to professional publications. Editor: (book) Historical linguistics in lndonesia. NUSA, 1981.