Jerry Norman

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Jerry Lee Norman
Born (1936-07-16)July 16, 1936
Watsonville, California
Died July 7, 2012(2012-07-07) (aged 75)
Seattle, Washington
Citizenship American
Fields Linguistics
Institutions University of Washington
Academic advisors Chao Yuen Ren
Doctoral students David Prager Branner, Richard VanNess Simmons
Known for Study of Min Chinese dialects and Manchu language

Jerry Lee Norman (Chinese: 罗杰瑞; pinyin: Luó Jiéruì; Manchu name Elbihe ᡝᠯᠪᡳᡥᡝ "raccoon dog";[1] July 16, 1936 – July 7, 2012) was an American sinologist and linguist who is known for his study of Min Chinese dialects and the Manchu language. He is the author of a Manchu-English dictionary.


Norman was born in Watsonville, California in 1936, and went to the University of California at Berkeley where he studied Chinese under Chao Yuen Ren.[2] In 1965 he had worked with Leo Chen on an introduction to the Fuzhou dialect and a Fuzhou-English glossary, and in 1966 Norman joined the Chinese Linguistics Project at Princeton University as a staff linguist.[3] He subsequently went to Taiwan to engage in field research on Taiwanese, and in 1969 he completed his PhD at Berkeley, with a dissertation on the Jianyang dialect of Fujian.[4] In 1972, he joined the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, where he remained for the rest of his academic career, retiring in 1998. In a series of papers from 1973, Norman applied the comparative method to popular forms in modern Min dialects to reconstruct proto-Min.

He died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Seattle on July 7, 2012.[5]


  • 1965. With Leo Chen. Foochow-English Glossary. San Francisco State College.
  • 1965. With Leo Chen. An Introduction to the Foochow Dialect. San Francisco State College.
  • 1967. A Manchu-English Dictionary. Taipei.
  • 1969. The Kienyang Dialect of Fukien. University of California, Berkeley. PhD dissertation.
  • 1973. "Tonal Development in Min"; Journal of Chinese Linguistics 1–2: 222–238.
  • 1974. "The Initials of Proto-Min"; Journal of Chinese Linguistics 2-1: 27–36.
  • 1974. "Structure of Sibe Morphology"; Central Asian Journal.
  • 1976. With Mei Tsu-lin. "The Austroasiatics in Ancient South China: Some Lexical Evidence"; Monumenta Serica 32: 274–301, JSTOR 40726203.
  • 1978. A Concise Manchu-English Lexicon. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-295-95574-2.
  • 1979. "Chronological Strata in the Min Dialects"; Fangyan 方言 1979.4: 268–274.
  • 1980. "Yongan fanyan" 永安方言; Shumu Jikan 书目季刊 14–2: 113–165.
  • 1981. "The Proto-Min Finals"; 中央研究院国际汉学会议论文集 语言文字组: 35–73.
  • 1984. "Three Min Etymologies"; Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 13–2: 175–189. doi:10.3406/clao.1984.1155.
  • 1986. "闽北方言的第三套清塞音和清擦塞音"; Zhongguo Yuwen 中国语文 1986.1: 38–41.
  • 1988. Chinese. Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN 978-0-521-29653-3.
  • 1991. "The Mǐn Dialects in Historical Perspective"; Languages and Dialects of China: 325–360.
  • 1995. With Weldon South Coblin. "A New Approach to Chinese Historical Linguistics"; Journal of the American Oriental Society 115–4: 576–584.
  • 1996. "Tonal Development in the Jennchyan Dialect"; Yuen Ren Society Treasury of Chinese Dialect Data 2: 7–41.
  • 2000. With Gilbert Louis Mattos. translation of Chinese Writing by Qiu Xigui. Society for the Study of Early China and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California. ISBN 978-1-55729-071-7
  • 2002. "A Glossary of the Lianduentsuen Dialect"; Short Chinese Dialect Reports 1: 339–394.
  • 2006. "Min Animal Body Parts"; Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics 1–1: 133–143.
  • 2007. "汉语方言田野调查与音韵学"; Beijing Daxue Xuebao 北京大学学报 44.2: 91–94.
  • 2013. A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary. Harvard University Asia Center. ISBN 978-0-674-07213-8


  1. ^ Branner, David Prager, ed. (2013). A Comprehensive Manchu-English Dictionary. Harvard University Asia Center. p. x. ISBN 978-0-674-07213-8. 
  2. ^ Qi Huang et al. (2004). Chinese Characters Then And Now. Springer. p. 108. ISBN 9783211227954. 
  3. ^ Newsletter of the Association for Asian Studies 14: 51. 1968. 
  4. ^ Léo A. Orleans; Caroline Davidson, eds. (1980). Science in Contemporary China. Stanford University Press. p. xxi. ISBN 9780804710787. 
  5. ^ "In Memory of Jerry Lee Norman". Retrieved 2012-07-15.