Highlights of my work and anecdotes#

Hilary Chappell is a leading specialist in the typology of Sinitic (Chinese) languages, working in both synchronic and diachronic frameworks. She holds the Research Chair as Professor in Linguistic Typology of East Asian Languages at the prestigious research institute and graduate school of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, an appointment she took up in 2005 after teaching in the Linguistics Department at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, for 18 years.

Originally awarded her doctoral degree in 1984 by the Australian National University, Canberra, for her thesis, entitled “A semantic analysis of passive, causative and dative constructions in standard Chinese”, she now has over 70 publications on Chinese linguistics and typology, including A grammar and lexicon of Hakka (with Christine Lamarre) and three major edited volumes, The grammar of inalienability (with William McGregor, Mouton de Gruyter, 1996), Sinitic grammar: Synchronic and diachronic perspectives (OUP, 2001), her latest publication being Diversity in Sinitic languages (OUP, 2015).

Her research approach is highly innovative and ambitious with its goal of rethinking the typological profile of Sinitic languages on the basis of in-depth explorations of the extent of their variation and diversity (ERC Advanced Grant 2009-2013 and series editor of Sinitic languages of China: Typological descriptions for De Gruyter Mouton). A second research direction is the study of the diachronic grammar of the Southern Min or Hokkien dialect, using a rare corpus of late 16th and early 17th century materials.

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