Pinning by second phase particles offers a potent means for limiting grain growth and enhancing superplasticity in alumina-based ceramics. In the present study, a colloidal technique was used to produce green bodies of alumina-yttria composites; at elevated temperatures, the yttria particles react with alumina to produce YAG particles. The densification and high temperature deformation characteristics of alumina-YAG composites were studied using conventional free sintering and sinter-forging, which involves the application of a compressive stress without any lateral constraints. It is shown that the YAG particles retard both densification and grain growth. The experiments indicate also that the presence of YAG particles does not significantly alter the stress exponent for creep deformation.