Registration now open for 5th Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium: SOAS, 1 September 2010
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*5th Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium*
*1 September 2010*
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
**Word families in Burmese and explaining their origin
*Professor Rudolf Yanson (St Petersburg State University)
*The Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages*
Now the majority of the world’s languages are under imminent threat of
extinction, thorough description of the hundreds of living Tibeto-Burman
languages is of great urgency. Along with this task, research into the
earlier stages of Tibeto-Burman languages with a long written history is
also vital. The older written Tibeto-Burman languages, such as Bailang
Tibetan (8th cent), Newar (9th cent), Burmese (12th cent), Tangut
(13thcent) and Manipuri provide a diachronic depth to comparative,
typological studies of contemporary languages, and are essential for solving
many of the puzzles which today’s tongues present.
This has been well understood in Indo-European linguistics for a long time,
and Indo-Europeanists are aware of the value of the classical languages such
as Hittite, Tocharian, Sanskrit and Greek in deciphering contemporary
phenomena. In Tibeto-Burman scholarship this method has been less commonly
employed, and the older languages of the Tibeto-Burman family have been
*The Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium*
In 2000 Professor Christopher Beckwith of Indiana University initiated the
Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium with the aim of raising the
methodological rigour of Tibeto-Burman historical linguistics to that of
other language families such as Indo-European or Uralic.
The first three Symposia were organised as panels of the meetings of the
International Association for Tibetan Studies. The fourth symposium was
organized as a panel of the 41st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan
Languages and Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS) in London in September 2008.
The fifth Symposium will be held as a panel of the 16th Himalayan Languages
Symposium, on 1 September 2010 (also at SOAS).
The proceedings of the first three conferences have been published by Brill,
and the proceedings of the fourth conference will be out in time for the
A major aim of this meeting is to stimulate interaction among scholars
working on different languages in Tibeto-Burman and approaching them from
Papers of any kind dealing with primary texts in the older Tibeto-Burman
languages are welcome, whether the focus be linguistic, philological,
textual, historical or literary. Also welcome are contributions on any
Tibeto-Burman languages with a pre-modern literary tradition. These include
but are not limited to Bailang, Burmese, Lepcha, Manipuri, Nam, Naxi,
Tangut, Tibetan, Yi, and Zhangzhung.
We would invite all participants to attend both Symposia. The full schedule
for both events will be published in due course.
For further information about the Symposia, including payment and
registration process, please see:
This year, as the two Symposia are being held as one event, the registration
fee for the Himalayan Languages Symposium will also cover entry to the
Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium.
*Full registration fees for both Symposia (1-5 September):*
£80 Late registration (Applications received after 31 August 2010) (no
*Concessions are available for students and participants from lower-income
*Registration fee for one day of either Symposium:*
£20 day rate (no concessions)
The fees include access to all the Symposium sessions, as well as snacks and
light lunch. Unfortunately, the fees do not include the cost for attending
the Symposium dinner.
Please note that you can register on the day but we cannot guarantee a
place. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
*Note: *It is our policy to maximise the participation of scholars from
lower-income countries. A limited number of *bursaries* may be available to
help with travel costs for those (especially students) wishing to attend
from such countries. If you think you might qualify for a bursary, please
contact Nathan Hill (email below).
Enquiries Enquires about the Programme
Dr Nathan Hill, nh36 at soas.ac.uk
Enquiries about the Registration
Centres & Programmes: centres at soas.ac.uk or Tel 020 7898 4892/3
*Organised by*: Centre of Chinese Studies , Centres and Programmes (REO)
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