The China Studies department congratulates affiliated faculty Zev Handel on receiving a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to fund the Fourth Workshop on Sino-Tibetan Languages of Southwest China (STLS-2016) at the University of Washington.
Below is a description of the workshop’s aims. You can read more about STLS-2016 here.
Many of the Sino-Tibetan languages of Sichuan and adjacent areas of Southwest China are under-explored. In recent decades scholars have been increasingly turning their attention to these fascinating languages and dialects, including many Tibetan varieties, Ngwi (=Yi) varieties, and at least a dozen languages tentatively classified as “Qiangic”. The Qiangic languages in particular are of typological interest, featuring such properties as large segmental inventories, uncommon tone and tone-like systems, topography-based spatial deixis, prohibitive marking with dental-stop-onset prefixes, nominal classification via existential verbs, and grammatical structures governed by animacy hierarchies. These properties are not only of inherent interest, motivating scholars to investigate, analyze, and report on them, but also raise important questions about the history and subgrouping of the Sino-Tibetan language family, questions which can only be answered through comparative and collaborative work.