Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society

SEALS 25 - Chiang Mai, Thailand, May 27 - May 29, 2015 

SEALS 25 Conference website

Introduction to BCP47 and ISO639-3 Language Tags (a SEALS 25 presentation by Martin Hosken and Campbell Prince) is available on YouTube.

JSEALS is the peer-reviewed journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society.  It is devoted to research on the languages of mainland and insular Southeast Asia.  Previously published as the SEALS Conference Proceedings series under the stewardship of Karen Adams, formal journal publication with the sponsorship of Pacific Linguistics was approved by conference attendees in 2007. 

JSEALS is available from Asia-Pacific Linguisitics Open Access (formerly Pacific Linguistics) as an e-journal under the Creative Common 3.0 License.  From 2012 on, individual articles may be downloaded from there as well.

Volume 7:2014 articles  
Volume 5:2012   (4.2M)  articles       Volume 6:2013   (15.5M)  articles
Volume 4-1:2011   (1.9M)       Volume 4-2:2011   (9.0M)
Volume 3-1:2010   (6.1M)       Volume 3-2:2010   (3.3M)
Volume 1:2009   (2.3M)       Volume 2:2009   (4.1M)

Guidelines for submission
JSEALS welcomes articles that are topical, focused on linguistic (as opposed to cultural or anthropological) issues, and which further the lively debate that characterizes the annual SEALS conferences. Submissions may be made at any time.  Please see Submission Guidelines, which also discuss the new Book Review and Forum sections.

Most JSEALS articles have been formally submitted for peer review and publication after having the opportunity to be presented and discussed at the SEALS conference, but non-conference articles are also welcome.  As a service to the community, non-reviewed conference presentations are archived on this website.  Papers from earlier SEALS conferences may be found at the The SEALS On-Line Archives.

The 2013 SEALS business meeting was held June 1st in Bangkok, Thailand, and resolved:

1) To have an informal discussion period in regard to incorporation as a US nonprofit (to be organized by Mark Alves), and collection of a modest yearly membership fee, intended mainly to smooth the process of organizing the annual conference.
2) To welcome Peter Jenks as the new Managing Editor of JSEALS. Submissions and/or queries may be sent either to him ( or Paul Sidwell (
3) To heartily thank Justin Watkins for his successful proposal to host SEALS 24 in 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar.

The 2012 SEALS business meeting (held June 1st at Agay in France) resolved to:

1) Expand the SEALS Executive by appointing two new members. The Executive now consists of:

2) The Executive will investigate the steps needed to incorporate SEALS as a non-profit society.

3) The Executive will prepare a draft constitution for consideration at the 2013 meeting.

Statement of purpose
1) The Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS, also the Society) is formed for the purpose of facilitating and promoting contact and communication among scholars and students of Southeast Asian Linguistics, and for the dissemination of their scholarly works.

2) The members of the Society advocate the documentation, study, analysis, teaching and maintenance of Southeast Asian Languages.

3) To these ends, the Society undertakes:

  a) to hold international meetings, normally annually, and in a manner that provides reasonable opportunity for scholars and students from Southeast Asia to participate

  b) to publish a journal, and such other publications and communications as deemed appropriate, in order to provide opportunity for the presentation of scholarly research and documentation on Southeast Asian Languages

  c) to maintain a website as a point of contact and information

  d) to maintain appropriate academic standards in meetings and publications, principally by means of peer review of papers and abstracts

4) The Society accepts as members those persons who, in good faith, make a declaration of endorsement of this statement of purpose.

SEALS history 
The Southeast Asian Linguistcs Society was founded by Martha Ratliff and Eric Schiller (who had the idea while car-pooling to work) in 1990.  The first meeting took place in 1991 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and was attended by (among others) Benedict, Gedney, Diffloth, Matisoff, Sagart, Edmondson, and Thurgood.  Annual publication of the SEALS Conference proceedings was assumed by Arizona State University the next year. 

    The SEALS conference regularly circumnavigates the globe, and has met in Southeast Asia, the United States, Europe and Australia.  It is generally expected to meet in Asia at least every other year.  The 2013 meeting will be held in Bangkok, Thailand.

    SEALS features papers on the languages of Southeast Asia, including Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Hmong-Mien, Tibeto-Burman and Tai-Kadai.  Topics have included descriptive, theoretical, or historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology (ethnolinguistics, language attitudes and ideology, discourse and conversational analysis, language and gender, language and politics), language planning, literacy and bilingual education.

Google map of past meeting sites.
1991 North America (USA, Detroit, Michigan)
1992 North America (USA, Phoenix, Arizona)
1993 Asia/North America (USA, Honolulu, Hawaii)
1994 Asia (Thailand, Bangkok & Chiang Rai)
1995 North America (USA, Tucson, Arizona)
1996 North America (USA, Eugene, Oregon)
1997 North America (USA, Urbana, Illinois)
1998 Asia (Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur)
1999 North America (USA, Berkeley, California)
2000 North America (USA, Madison, Wisconsin)
2001 Asia (Thailand, Bangkok)
2002 North America (USA, DeKalb, Illinois)
2003 North America (USA, Los Angeles, California)
2004 Asia (Thailand, Bangkok)
2005 Australia (Canberra)
2006 Asia (Indonesia, Jakarta)
2007 North America (USA, Baltimore, Maryland)
2008 Asia (Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur)
2009 Asia (Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City)
2010 Europe (Zurich, Switzerland)
2011 Asia (Bangkok, Thailand)
2012 Europe (Agay, France)
2013 Asia (Bangkok, Thailand)
2014 Asia (Yangon, Myanmar)
The JSEALS website is maintained by the Center for Research in Computational Linguistics.  Please send requests for additions, corrections, or information to doug.cooper.thailand at  Editorial queries should be directed to paulsidwell at