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Department of Linguistics

Dr Nathan W. Hill

AB, AM, PhD (Harvard)

Overview

Nathan Hill
Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

Lecturer in Tibetan and Linguistics (on research leave)

Department of Linguistics

Lecturer in Tibetan and Linguistics (on research leave)

Centre of Buddhist Studies

Member, Centre of Buddhist Studies

SOAS China Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS China Institute

Centre for Translation Studies (CTS)

Member, Centre for Translation Studies

Tibetan Studies

Convenor, Tibetan Studies Group

Name:
Dr Nathan W. Hill
Email address:
Telephone:
4220
Address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Building:
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
T301

Biography

Nathan W. Hill was educated at the Catlin Gabel School and Harvard University. He has also studied for shorter periods in France, Nepal, Tibet and Japan. He came to SOAS in 2008 after teaching at Harvard University and Universität Tübingen. At SOAS he teaches courses in Tibetan language and history and serves as undergraduate tutor for Tibetan.

Teaching

Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Abel Zadoks, Tibetan Historical Syntax
  • Adam Pearcey, The Great Perfection (Rdzogs chen) according to Rdo grub chen ‘Jigs med bstan pa’i nyi ma (1865-1926), his Collaborators & Disciples
  • Jeff Izzard, Language attitudes and identity in the Tibetan Dharamsala diaspora
  • Serena Biondo, The life and Teachings of the 10th-century Tibetan Master A ro Ye shes ‘Byung gnas"
  • Tom Owen-Smith, Predication and Participants in the Tamang of Indrawati Khola

Research

Nathan W. Hill's research focuses on Tibetan literature and Tibeto-Burman/Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics. Several of his articles treat issues in Old Tibetan historical and synchronic phonology, including the phonetic interpretation of the Tibetan alphabet, the nature of the phonemic word, the phonemic inventory and phonotactic constraints of Old Tibetan. In addition to phonology, his publications treat the Old Tibetan case, converbial, and pronominal systems, showing how linguistics sheds light on literary structure and style. He has given invited talks at Bern, Cambridge, Columbia, Halifax, Hohhot, Leiden, Lumbini, Munich, Oxford, Paris, and Vienna. The topics of these presentations have ranged from linguistic themes including Mongolian indirect discourse and evidentials in Lhasa Tibetan to historical and cultural themes such as Tibetan mythology and the place of the sku-bla rite in the political ideology of the Old Tibetan empire.

Current research

Nathan W. Hill is currently working on two externally funded research grants. As British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow he is undertaking the project 'Pre-history of the Sino-Tibetan languages: The sound laws relating Old Burmese, Old Chinese, and Old Tibetan'. He is also co-investigator on 'Tibetan in Digital Communication: Corpus linguistics and lexicography', a three-year research project led by principal investigator Dr Ulrich Pagel (Department of the Study of Religions) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Conference organisation

At SOAS Nathan W. Hill is secretary of the Circle of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies and convenor of the Tibetan Studies Group. He has also organised several conferences:

Affiliations
  • Editorial board member, Old Tibetan Documents Online (otdo.aa.tufs.ac.jp).
  • Member, International Advisory Board for The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Art and Conservation (http://...ho-foundation) at The Courtauld Institute of Art (2012-2015).
  • Editorial board member, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (http://...BSOAS), (2012-2018).
  • Editorial board member, Himalaya (http://...himalaya).

Expertise

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For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email comms@soas.ac.uk

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
  • Expert Immigration or Asylum Reports
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise
Languages

Publications

Authored Books

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) A Lexicon of Tibetan Verb Stems as Reported by the Grammatical Tradition. Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. (Studia Tibetica)

Iwao, Kazushi and Hill, Nathan W. and Takeuchi, Tsuguhito (2009) Old Tibetan Inscriptions. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. (Old Tibetan Documents Online Monograph Series)

Edited Books

Owen-Smith, Tom and Hill, Nathan W. , eds. (2014) Trans-Himalayan Linguistics: Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 266)

Hill, Nathan W., ed. (2012) Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages IV. Leiden: Brill. (Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill's Tibetan Studies Library)

Book Chapters

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'Tibeto-Burman *dz- > Tibetan z- and Related Proposals.' In: Simmons, Richard VanNess and van Auken, Newell Ann, (eds.), Studies in Chinese and Sino-Tibetan Linguistics: Dialect, Phonology, Transcription and Text. Tapei: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, pp. 167-178.

Manson, Charles and Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'A Gter ma of Negatives. H.E. Richardson's photographic negatives of manuscript copies of Tibetan Imperial Inscriptions possibly collected by Rig 'dzin Tshe dbang nor bu in the 18th Century CE recently found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.' In: Tropper, Kurt, (ed.), Epigraphic Evidence in the Pre-modern Buddhist World: Proceedings of the Eponymous Conference Held in Vienna, 14-15 Oct. 2011. Vienna: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistischen Studien, Universität Wien., pp. 83-115. (Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde)

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'The Emergence of the Pluralis majestatis and the Relative Chronology of Old Tibetan Texts.' In: Ehrhard, Franz-Karl and Maurer, Petra, (eds.), Nepalica-Tibetica: Festgabe for Christoph Cüppers. Andiast: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies GmbH, pp. 249-262.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'A new interpretation of the mythological incipit of the Rkong po inscription.' In: Tropper, Kurt and Scherrer-Schaub, Cristina, (eds.), Tibetan Inscriptions. Leiden: Brill, pp. 171-182. (Brill's Tibetan Studies Library)

Hill, Nathan W. and Fee, Toby (2013) 'Love poems of the sixth Dalai Lama.' In: Schaeffer, Kurtis R. and Kapstein, Matthew T. and Tuttle, Gray, (eds.), Sources of the Tibetan Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 557-559. (Introduction to Asian Civilizations)

Owen-Smith, Tom and Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Introduction.' In: Owen-Smith, Tom and Hill, Nathan W., (eds.), Trans-Himalayan Linguistics: Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1-10. (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 266)

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Come as lord of the black-headed: an Old Tibetan mythic formula.' In: Cüppers, Cristoph and Mayer, Robert and Walter, Michael, (eds.), Tibet after Empire Culture, Society and Religion between 850-1000. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, pp. 169-179.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Introduction.' In: Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages IV. Leiden: Brill, pp. 1-4. (Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill's Tibetan Studies Library)

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Tibetan palatalization and the gy versus g.y distinction.' In: Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages IV. Leiden: Brill, pp. 383-398. (Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill's Tibetan Studies Library)

Hill, Nathan W. (2011) 'The allative, locative, and terminative cases (la-don) in the Old Tibetan Annals.' In: Imaeda, Yoshiro and Kapstein, Mathew, (eds.), New Studies in the Old Tibetan Documents: Philology, History and Religion. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, pp. 3-38. (Old Tibetan Documents Online Monograph Series)

Hill, Nathan W. (2008) 'Verba Moriendi in the Old Tibetan Annals.' In: Beckwith, Christopher I., (ed.), Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages III. Bonn: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies Gmbh, pp. 71-86.

Articles

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'Grammatically conditioned sound change.' Language and Linguistics Compass, 8 (6). pp. 211-229.

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'A Note on Voicing Alternation in the Tibetan Verbal System.' Transactions of the Philological Society, 112 (1). pp. 1-4.

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'Some Tibetan verb forms that violate Dempsey’s law.' Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 29 . pp. 91-101.

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'Proto-Kuki-Chin initials according to Toru Ohno and Kenneth VanBik.' Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, 7 . pp. 11-30.

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'A Typological Perspective on Classical Mongolian Indirect Speech.' Central Asiatic Journal, 56 . pp. 11-18.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'The merger of Proto-Burmish *ts and *č in Burmese.' SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics, 16 . pp. 334-345.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Relative order of Tibetan sound changes affecting laterals.' Language and Linguistics, 14 (1). pp. 193-209.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Three notes on Laufer's law.' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 36 (1). pp. 57-72.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'ḥdug as a testimonial marker in Classical and Old Tibetan.' Himalayan Linguistics, 12 (1). pp. 1-16.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Contextual semantics of ‘Lhasa’ Tibetan evidentials.' SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 10 (3). pp. 47-54.

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Old Chinese *sm- and the Old Tibetan Word for ‘Fire’.' Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale, 42 (1). pp. 60-71.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Evolution of the Burmese vowel system.' Transactions of the Philological Society, 110 (1). pp. 64-79.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'A note on the history and future of the 'Wylie' system.' Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, 23 . pp. 103-105.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Tibetan -las, -nas, and -bas.' Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale, 41 (1). pp. 3-38.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) '“Mirativity” does not exist: ḥdug in “Lhasa” Tibetan and other suspects.' Linguistic Typology, 16 (3). pp. 389-433.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'The six vowel hypothesis of Old Chinese in comparative context.' Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics, 6 (2). pp. 1-69.

Hill, Nathan W. (2011) 'Alternances entre ḥ et b en tibétain ancien et dans les langues tibétaines modernes.' Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 20 . pp. 115-122.

Hill, Nathan W. (2011) 'Multiple Origins of Tibetan o.' Language and Linguistics, 12 (3). pp. 707-721.

Hill, Nathan W. (2011) 'An Inventory of Tibetan Sound Laws.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (Third Series), 21 (4). pp. 441-457.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'The converb -las in Old Tibetan.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 73 (2). pp. 245-260.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'A note on the phonetic evolution of yod-pa-red in Central Tibet.' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 33 (1). pp. 93-94.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'An overview of Old Tibetan synchronic phonology.' Transactions of the Philological Society, 108 (2). pp. 110-125.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'Personal Pronouns in Old Tibetan.' Journal Asiatique, 298 (2). pp. 549-571.

Hill, Nathan W. (2009) 'Tibetan <ḥ-> as a plain initial and its place in Old Tibetan Phonology.' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 32 (1). pp. 115-140.

Hill, Nathan W. (2009) 'The Ḥphags-pa letter ḥ and laryngeal phenomena in Mongolian and Chinese.' Central Asiatic Journal, 53 (2). pp. 183-205.

Hill, Nathan W. (2007) 'Personalpronomina in der Lebensbeschreibung des Mi la ras pa, Kapitel III.' Zentralasiatische Studien, 36 . pp. 277-287.

Hill, Nathan W. (2007) 'Aspirated and Unaspirated Voiceless Consonants in Old Tibetan.' 語言暨語言學 / Languages and Linguistics, 8 (2). pp. 471-493.

Hill, Nathan W. (2006) 'Tibetan vwa ‘fox’ and the sound change Tibeto-Burman *wa -> Old Tibetan o.' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 29 (2). pp. 75-90.

Hill, Nathan W. (2005) 'The verb ‘bri ‘to write’ in Old Tibetan.' Journal of Asian and African Studies, 68 . pp. 177-182.

Hill, Nathan W. (2005) 'Once more on the letter འ.' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 28 (2). pp. 107-137.

Book Reviews

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) 'Review of Origins and Migrations in the Extended Eastern Himalayas. Edited by Toni Huber and Stuart Blackburn. Leiden, Brill, 2012.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland .

Hill, Nathan W. (2013) 'Review of Mark Turin, A Grammar of the Thangmi Language.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 76 (1). pp. 148-150.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Review of Sam van Schaik. Tibet: A History. London and New York: Yale University Press, 2011.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 75 (1). pp. 190-192.

Hill, Nathan W. (2012) 'Review of North East Indian Linguistics: Volume 3. Gwendolyn Hyslop, Stephen Morey, and Mark W. Post, eds. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd. 2011.' European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 40 . pp. 134-138.

Hill, Nathan W. (2011) 'Review of Himalayan Languages and Linguistics: Studies in phonology, semantics, morphology and syntax. Mark Turin and Bettina Zeisler, eds.' European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 39 . pp. 200-206.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'Review of Christine Sommerschuh, Einführung in die tibetische Schriftsprache: Lehrbuch für den Unterricht und das vertiefende Selbststudium. Nordstedt: Books on Demand GmbH, 2008.' Indo-Iranian Journal, 53 (3). pp. 251-264.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'Buddhism and Empire. By Michael Walter. pp. xxvii, 311. Leiden, Brill, 2009.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (Third Series), 20 (4). pp. 559-562.

Hill, Nathan W. (2010) 'Review of Lauran R. Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani, editors. Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.' China Review International, 16 (2). pp. 185-189.

Hill, Nathan W. (2009) 'Review of Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction. By James A. Matisoff. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.' 語言暨語言學 / Languages and Linguistics, 10 (1). pp. 173-195.

Hill, Nathan W. (2004) 'Compte rendu (Review of Paul G. Hackett, 'A Tibetan Verb Lexicon' Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003.).' Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 6 . pp. 78-98.

Translations

Hill, Nathan W. and Fee, Toby, trans. (2008) Love poems of the sixth Dalai Lama. (1, 2, 4, 25, 34, 36, 50, and 52.). The Harvard Advocate, Winter . pp. 80-91.

Hill, Nathan W., trans. (2008) Foundational Questions of Tibetan Morphology [Translation of "Grundfragen der tibetischen Morphologie" by Michael Hahn]. Tibet Journal, 33 (2). pp. 3-19.

Hill, Nathan W., trans. (2007) An Introduction to the text of the Newly Discovered Khrom chen Stele [Translation of 'gsar du rnyed pa'i khrom chen rdo ring yi ge mtshams sbyor' by Pa tshab pa sang dbang 'dus]. The Tibet Journal . pp. 3-9.

Hill, Nathan W., trans. (2006) The Old Tibetan Chronicle: Chapter 1. Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 10 . pp. 89-101.

Audios

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) Tibetan Word Breaking and Part of Speech Categories. Backdoor Broadcasting Company. [Audio]

Hill, Nathan W. (2014) A rule based tagger for Classical Tibetan. Backdoor Broadcasting Company. [Audio]

This list was generated on Fri Sep 19 01:10:10 2014 BST.