W. South Coblin

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W. South Coblin
Born (1944-02-26) February 26, 1944 (age 71)
Nationality American
Fields Chinese linguistics, Tibetan linguistics
Institutions University of Iowa
Alma mater University of Washington (B.A., Ph.D.)
Doctoral advisor Fr. Paul Serruys
Other academic advisors Li Fang-Kuei
Jerry Norman
Chinese name
Chinese 柯蔚南

Weldon South Coblin, Jr. (born February 26, 1944) is an American sinologist, linguist, and educator, best known for his studies of Chinese linguistics and Tibetan.

Life and career[edit]

Coblin attended the University of Washington as an undergraduate student, graduating with a B.A. in Chinese in 1967. He then continued on at Washington as a graduate student, earning a Ph.D. in Chinese language and literature in 1972 with a dissertation entitled "An Introductory Study of Textual and Linguistic Problems in Erh-ya". After completing his Ph.D., Coblin stayed at Washington for one year as a teaching associate, then in 1973 joined the faculty of the University of Iowa, where he spent his entire career.

Early in his career he made many important contributions to Tibetan and Sino-Tibetan linguistics, but since the mid-1990s has worked primarily on alphabetic representations of Chinese. Starting around that time along with Jerry Norman he promoted a new direction in Chinese historical phonology making less use of the Qieyun and other rhyme books, and more use of the traditional comparative method. Coblin is an emeritus professor at the University of Iowa.

Selected works[edit]

  • Coblin, W. South (1972). "An Introductory Study of Textual and Linguistic Problems in Erh-ya", Ph.D. dissertation (University of Washington).
  • ——— (1983). A Handbook of Eastern Han Sound Glosses. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. ISBN 962-201-258-2. 
  • ——— (1986). A Sinologist's Handlist of Sino-Tibetan Lexical Correspondences. Monumenta Serica Monograph Series 18. Nettetal: Steyler. 
  • ——— (1991). Studies in Old Northwest Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph Series 4. Berkeley: Project on Linguistic Analysis, University of California. 
  • ———; Norman, Jerry (1995). "A New Approach to Chinese Historical Linguistics". Journal of the American Oriental Society 115 (4): 576–84. 
  • ——— (1997). "Notes on the Sound System of Late Ming Guanhua". Monumenta Serica 45: 261–307. 
  • ——— (2000). "A Brief History of Mandarin". Journal of the American Oriental Society 120 (4): 537–52. 
  • ——— (2000). "A Diachronic Study of Míng Guānhuà Phonology". Monumenta Serica 48: 267–335. 
  • ——— (2005). Comparative Phonology of the Huáng-Xiào Dialects. Taipei: Academia Sinica, Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 986-00-3149-5. 
  • ——— (2007). A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3000-7. 

External links[edit]