Working with China: Atlases and Surveys

bradleyseminarChina Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University

Professor David Bradley

2:30pm, Friday 25 November 2016
Room 318, Education 2, La Trobe University, Bundoora

RSVP to by 24 November 2016

From 1982 to 1991, Professor David Bradley led collaboration between the Australian Academy of Humanities and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to produce the bilingual Language Atlas of China (a second edition is under preparation). This also opened up opportunities for David to work individually in the field on some of the many languages within the Ngwi (Yi) Branch of Tibeto-Burman with a large number of Chinese colleagues in a range of institutions, universities and publishing houses in southwestern China between 1984 and now. The most recent result of this collaboration extends this historical research to an earlier time frame, the ancient history of China.

In this seminar, David will reflect on this extensive period of collaboration with Chinese colleagues on the extremely complex issue of linguistic diversity in China, including the issue of language endangerment, a key problem for many national minority languages and dialects in China.  After the presentation we will launch our  latest book Shanhaijing World Geography and Ancient Chinese Civilization 山海经世界地理与中国远古文明, , recently published in China by the Beijing Foreign Language Press, on the linguistic and historical context of the Chinese Classic, the 山海经.

David Bradley is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at La Trobe University. He has been working on Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics and sociolinguistics for over 40 years. He studied linguistics during his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and has taught linguistics at several universities in Australia and overseas. He is author of nearly 30 books and hundreds of journal articles or chapters; his current CV can be accessed on. Since 1982 he has been conducting extensive fieldwork and joint research with a wide range of universities and academies in China. His specialization is on the Tibeto-Burman minority groups in China and elsewhere, notably Lisu, Lahu, Yi and related groups. He has long been working to document, maintain and develop these languages.

Contact: Jean Zhang,