Yeshes Vodgsal Atshogs
ཡེ་ཤེས་འོད་གསལ་ཨ་ཚོགས། / 意西微萨·阿错

Field of Study

Years of Stay at HYI

Aug 2023 to May 2024

University Affiliation

Yeshes Vodgsal Atshogs comes from Kham Tibet. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and serves as the Director of the Sino-Tibetan Language Research Center at Nankai University, China. He was also a Tibetan Buddhist clay sculptor and writer. He received his Ph.D. from Nankai University (2003) and was a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo (2006-2007) and the University of Maryland (2013-2015). Atshogs’ research primarily focuses on three areas. Firstly, he explores language contact and mixed languages. He first reported a special language Dao, a Tibetan-Chinese based mixed language, and published the book Daohua Study, which triggered great academic interest in this special linguistic phenomenon. He also investigates other mixed languages such as Wutun and Tangwang. Secondly, Atshogs’ research focuses on the historical relationship between Tibetan, Chinese, and neighboring languages. He presents an alternative perspective to the mainstream “Sino-Tibetan language” hypothesis, proposing that Proto-Chinese was a mixed language, with Tibetan and Chinese potentially sharing only their basic lexicon. Furthermore, he provided systematic and regular sound correspondences between Tibeto-Burman and Altaic languages regarding nominal gender, number, and case, as well as verbal tense, aspect, and modality, which he termed “Tibeto-Altaic grammatical drift.” Lastly, Atshogs specializes in Tibetan language research, particularly prosodic phonology. He identifies two independent accent systems in Tibetan dialects: a “stress accent” based on vowel length and a “pitch accent” based on pitch height. Both can be traced back and reconstructed to the Proto-Tibetan language. He explores the application of accent systems in Tibetan and Chinese poetic meters. These studies received several academic awards, including the MJH Award (2004) for Chinese Historical Phonology from the International Association of Chinese Languages (IACL), the National Award for Outstanding 100 Doctoral Dissertations in China, and the Ministry of Education Scientific Research Outstanding Achievement Award in Humanities and Social Sciences thrice from the Chinese government.

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