Calligraphie chinoise

Laurent SAGART

Français / French

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Laurent Sagart received his PhD in 1977 (University of Paris 7) and his Doctorat d'Etat in 1990 (University of Aix-Marseille 1). He is a senior scientist with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris, France). He has been a visiting professor at Ts'inghua University (1987-89), La Trobe University (1999), Hongkong City University (2005), the University of Chicago (2006) and Cornell University (2007). He is the author of three books, including "the roots of Old Chinese" (1999, John Benjamins), and of many papers on East Asian linguistics. He is currently working with W. H. Baxter on a new reconstruction of Old Chinese.

Research interests

  • Chinese dialectology, especially the Gan-Hakka dialects

  • Old Chinese reconstruction, morphology and etymology

  • Chinese loanwords into neighboring languages

  • Genetic relationships in East Asia

  • Languages and genes, languages and the domestication of cereals


Généalogie des langues d'Asie orientale (01:17:48), Les archives audiovisuelles de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales (ESCOM-MSH)

Selected publications

Download Laurent Sagart’s publications


  • Phonologie du dialecte hakka de Sung Him Tong. Paris: Langages Croisés, 1982. 153 p.

  • Les dialectes gan. Paris: Langages Croisés, 1993. 285 p.

  • The Roots of Old Chinese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 1999. 262 p.
    Translated into Chinese under the title Shanggu Hanyu Cigen. Shanghai Educational Publishing House. 2004.

Download new index for "Roots of Old Chinese"

Download Rodo Pfister's list of errata for "Roots of Old Chinese" (in German)

Edited volume

  • The Peopling of East Asia. edited by Laurent Sagart, Roger Blench et Alicia Sanchez-Mazas. Londres: RoutledgeCurzon. 2005. 323 p.


  • Zhengzhang Shangfang (2001) The phonology of Old Chinese. Paris: collection Cahiers de Linguistique Asie orientale. Translated by L. Sagart.


  • How did the aspirated stops become voiced ? Computational Analyses of Asian and African Languages 22 (1984), 87-94.

  • Le destin des obstruantes sonores du chinois ancien dans les dialectes min. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale XIII (1984), 1: 91-99.

  • On the Departing tone. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 14 (1986), 1: 91-112. Chinese translation: Yuwen Yanjiu 3 (1988),: 55-64.

  • On Gan-Hakka. Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Studies, New Series, 18 (1988), 1: 141-160.

  • Chinese and Austronesian: evidence for a genetic relationship. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 21 (1993), 1 : 1-62. Chinese translation by Zeng Xiaoyu in: Shi Feng (ed.) Hanyu Yanjiu zai haiwai, pp. 59-110., Beijing:Yuyanxueyuan, 1995.

  • New views on Old Chinese phonology. Diachronica vol. X (1993), No.2: 237-260.

  • Old Chinese and Proto-Austronesian evidence for Sino-Austronesian. Oceanic Linguistics 33 (1994), 2: 271-308.

  • Some remarks on the Ancestry of Chinese. In: William S.-Y. Wang (ed.) The Ancestry of the Chinese Language. Journal of Chinese Linguistics monograph series no. 8 (1995), pp. 195-223.

  • Comments from Sagart. In: William S.-Y. Wang (ed.) The Ancestry of the Chinese Language. Journal of Chinese Linguistics monograph series no. 8 (1995), pp. 337-372.

  • Questions of method in Chinese-Tibeto-Burman comparison. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale XXIV (1995), 2: 245-255.

  • Chinese "buy" and "sell" and the direction of borrowings between Chinese and Hmong-Mien. T'oung Pao LXXXI (1995), 4-5: 328-342.

  • Discussion note: a reply to J. A. Matisoff’s “a key etymology”. Linguistics Of The Tibeto-Burman Area, Volume 17.1 (1994, publié en 1996): 167-168.

  • On distinguishing Hakka and non-Hakka dialects. Journal of Chinese Linguistics (1998) 26, 2: 281-302.

  • The Chinese and Tibeto-Burman words for ‘blood’. in: In Honor of Mei Tsu-lin: Studies in Historical Syntax and Morphology, ed. by Alain Peyraube and Sun Chaofen, 165-181. Collection des Cahiers de Linguistique asie Orientale 3. Paris: EHESS, 1999.

  • The origin of Chinese tones. Proceedings of the Symposium/Cross-Linguistic Studies of Tonal Phenomena/Tonogenesis, Typology and Related Topics, ed. By Shigeki Kaji, pp. 91-104. Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA). Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 1999.

  • The Gan dialects. In: Jane Garry and Carl Rubino (eds.) Facts About the World's Languages : An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages, Past and Present (Facts About the World's Languages) pp.139-141. New York and Dublin: The T.H. Wilson publishing company, 2001.

  • Sagart, L. (2001) Nanxiong and Hakka. Fangyan (2001) Vol. 23, 2: 142-151.

  • Sagart, L. (2000) Two Jiangxi sound changes in spatial perspectives: the case of th- > h- and tsh- > th-. In : Pang-Hsin Ting and Anne O. Yue (eds.) In Memory of Professor Li Fang-Kuei: essays on linguistic change and the Chinese dialects, 243-259. Institue of Linguistics (preparatory office), Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; University of Washington, Seattle

  • Sagart, L. (2001) "Vestiges of Archaic Chinese Derivational Affixes in Modern Chinese Dialects". In: (H. Chappell, ed.) Sinitic Grammar - Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives. 2001: Oxford University Press.

  • Gan, Hakka and the Formation of Chinese Dialects, in Dialect Variations in Chinese, ed. by Dah-an Ho, pp. 129-154. Taipei: Academia Sinica. 2002.

  • Sagart, L. Da Ding Bangxin Jiaoshou [réponse au professeur Ding] Yuyanxue Luncong 28, 1 (2003): 338-339.

  • Sources of Middle Chinese manner types: Old Chinese prenasalized initials in Hmong-Mien and Sino-Tibetan perspective. Language and Linguistics, 4.4 (2003): 757-768.

  • Sagart, L. The vocabulary of cereal cultivation and the phylogeny of East Asian languages. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 23 (2003) (Taipei papers, Volume 1): 127-136.

  • The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics 43 (2004) 411-444.

  • La parenté des langues austronésiennes, in E. Zeitoun  (ed.) Les langues austronésiennes. Faits de Langues 23-24 (2004): 23-39.

  • The Chinese names of the four directions. Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2004), 69-76.

  • Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian: an updated and improved argument. In L. Sagart, R. Blench and A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds) The peopling of East Asia: Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics 161-176. London: RoutledgeCurzon. 2005.

  • Tai-Kadai as a subgroup of Austronesian. In L. Sagart, R. Blench and A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds) The peopling of East Asia: Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics 177-181. Londres: RoutledgeCurzon. 2005.

  • On intransitive nasal prefixation in Sino-Tibetan languages. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 35 (2006), 1: 57-70. Traduction chinoise par Gu Feng, revue par Zeng Xiaoyu : Zhonggu Hanyu fayin fangfa leixing de laiyuan -touguo Miao-Yaoyu yu Hanzangyu kan shanggu hanyu de biguanyin shengmu. Nankai yuyanxue kan 2006, 2:148-155.

  • Review: James A. Matisoff (2003) Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. System and philosophy of Sino-Tibeto-Burman Reconstruction. Diachronica  XXII (2006) 206-223.

  • L'emploi des phonétiques dans l'écriture chinoise. In : Françoise Bottero et Redouane Djamouri (eds.) Ecriture chinoise/Données, usages et représentations, 35-53. Paris : CRLAO. 2006.

  • Introduction. In: Coblin, W. S. (2007) Modern Chinese phonology: from Guanhua to Mandarin, 1-6. Collection des Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale, 11. Paris: EHESS. 2007.

Joint articles

  • de Boysson-Bardies, L. Sagart, C. Durand. Discernible differences in the babbling of infants according to target language. Journal of Child Language 11 (1984), 1-15.

  • de Boysson-Bardies, L. Sagart, P. Hallé C. Durand. Acoustic investigations of cross-linguistic variability in babbling. In B. Lindblom (ed.) Precursors of early speech. 1986. Houndmills, Basingstoke: the MacMillan Press.

  • de Boysson-Bardies, P. Hallé, L. Sagart, C. Durand. A cross-linguistic investigation of vowel formants in babbling. Journal of Child Language 16 (1989), I: 1-18.

  • Sagart, L., and E. Todd Une hypothèse sur l'origine du système familial communautaire. Diogène 160 (1992): 145-75.

  • Baxter, W. H. III and L. Sagart. Word formation in Old Chinese. In Jerome L. Packard (ed.) New Approaches to Chinese Word Formation: Morphology, phonology and the lexicon in modern and ancient Chinese, 35-76. 1998. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Sagart, L. and Xu Shixuan (2001) History through loanwords : the loan correspondences between Hani and Chinese. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 30, 1 :3-54.

  • Sagart, L. and Xu Shixuan (2002) Hani yu zhong Hanyu jieci de lishi cengci. Zhongguo Yuwen , 1: 55-65.

  • Sagart, L., R. Blench and Alicia Sanchez-Mazas: Introduction. In: L. Sagart, R. Blench, A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds): The peopling of East Asia: putting together archaeology, linguistics and genetics, 1-14. 2004: London: RoutledgeCurzon.

  • Poloni, E. S., A. Sanchez-Mazas, G. Jacques, L. Sagart (2005) Comparing linguistic and genetic relationships among East Asian populations: a study of the Rh and GM polymorphisms. In: L. Sagart, R. Blench, A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds): The peopling of East Asia: putting together archaeology, linguistics and genetics, 252-272. London: RoutledgeCurzon. 2005.

  • Sanchez-Mazas, A., E. S. Poloni, G. Jacques and L. Sagart  (2005) HLA genetic diversity and linguistic variation in East Asia. In: L. Sagart, R. Blench, A. Sanchez-Mazas (eds): The peopling of East Asia: putting together archaeology, linguistics and genetics 273-296. Londres: RoutledgeCurzon.

last updated: April 2008