Dr Bill Palmer

Research Fellow

Surrey Morphology Group


Bill Palmer is currently working on an AHRB funded research project on the use of possessive morphology to index subject on verbs in languages of the Northwest Solomonic branch of Oceanic (Austronesian). He is a member of the Surrey Morphology Group at the University of Surrey. (AHRB Grant APN19365)


My current research program is focused on two broad areas:

Phonological, morphological and syntactic issues in Austronesian languages, particularly the Oceanic languages of the western Solomon Islands and Bougainville, and their theoretical, typological and diachronic implications. This includes primary research in several highly endangered languages of that region.

Spatial cognition; linguistic and nonlinguistic spatial behaviour; the relationship between language, culture and thought; and competing notions of linguistic relativity and innate determinism.

In addition I am interested in linguistic typology in general; acoustic phonetics; human evolution and the evolution of language; English and Indo-European linguistic history; and linguistic iconicity. I have an interest in contact languages and speak the Solomons Pijin and Bislama dialects of Melanesian Creole, and have carried out some primary research in the koine Fiji Hindi.


NEW! Tips for field workers

NEW! Draft paper 'Semantically non-canonical possessive marking and hierarchies of possession.'


'Possessive' subject-indexing project

Northwest Solomonic languages

Spatial research

Kokota documentation

UK Austronesian Research Group

Curiculum vitae

Publications & presentations

Field research


Career history




Ph:  +44 (0)1483 68 2845

Fax: +44 (0)1483 68 6201

Surrey Morphology Group, LCTS
University of Surrey
Guildford, GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

© Bill Palmer 2007