Scholar to discuss new research on early Chinese language

contact: Margaret von Steinen
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO--An expert in early Chinese language will give a talk at Western Michigan University Thursday, April 12.

Dr. William Baxter, a historical linguist at the University of Michigan, will speak on "What was the Early Chinese Language Like?" at 4:30 p.m. in Room 1028 of Brown Hall. The lecture is open to the public free of charge.

Baxter will focus his talk on recent research on early Chinese language and the implications of this research for a deeper understanding of early Chinese culture.

He is completing a book in collaboration with Laurent Sagart of the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris that carries the working title, "Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction," to be published by Oxford University Press.

The book will present a revised reconstruction of Old Chinese that utilizes newly available evidence from modern Chinese dialects, recently excavated early Chinese documents and languages with very early loanwords from Chinese.

Baxter earned a doctoral degree in linguistics from Cornell University in 1977. He is the author of the 1992 book, "A Handbook of Old Chinese Phonology," and more recent publications that deal with the history of Chinese and its dialects, linguistic approaches to early Chinese literature, and the methodology of historical linguistics.

His lecture is being sponsored by WMU's Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies, Confucius Institute and Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

For more information, contact the Light Center at or (269) 387-5890.