Malcolm Ross
Malcolm David Ross

3 May 1942
London, United Kingdom
NationalityAustralian and British
Academic work
InstitutionsAustralian National University
Main interestsPapuan languages, Austronesian languages

Malcolm David Ross FAHA (born 1942) is an Australian linguist. He is the emeritus professor of linguistics at the Australian National University.

Ross is best known among linguists for his work on Austronesian and Papuan languages, historical linguistics, and language contact (especially metatypy). He was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1996.[1]


Ross served as the Principal of Goroka Teachers College in Papua New Guinea from 1980 to 1982, during which time he self-statedly become interested in local languages, and began to collect data on them. In 1986, he received his PhD from the ANU under the supervision of Stephen Wurm, Bert Voorhoeve and Darrell Tryon.[2] His dissertation was on the genealogy of the Oceanic languages of western Melanesia, and contained an early reconstruction of Proto Oceanic.[3]

Malcolm Ross introduced the concept of a linkage, a group of languages that evolves via dialect differentiation rather than by tree-like splits.

Together with Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond, Ross has contributed to the Proto-Oceanic Lexicon Project, which has produced several volumes of reconstructed Proto-Oceanic vocabulary in various semantic domains.[4]

More recently, Ross has published on Formosan languages, Papuan languages and the reconstruction of Proto-Austronesian phonology and syntax.


  1. ^ "Fellow Profile: Malcolm Ross". Australian Academy of the Humanities. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Search titles". Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  3. ^ Ross, Malcolm (1988). Proto Oceanic and the Austronesian languages of western Melanesia (PDF). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0858833670. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2022.((cite book)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "The Oceanic Lexicon Project". Retrieved 5 October 2023.