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Anthropology and Museum Studies

College of the Sciences
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Dean Hall
Phone: (509) 963-3201

Penglin Wang

Photo of Dr. Penglin Wang


Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1993
M.A. Ethnology, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, 1981
Diploma (equivalent to B.A.), Russian, Beijing Foreign Languages University, Beijing, China

Office: Dean Hall 344

Phone: 509-963-3217

Interests and Expertise

Linguistic anthropology, linguistics, cognitive anthropology, cultural anthropology, Asian studies, Central Eurasia, China

Teaching and Research Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, January 1995-July 2001
  • Degree Fellow, East-West Center, Honolulu, June 1987-June 1991
  • Research Associate, Research Institute of Nationality Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, October 1981-May 1987

Selected Conference Presentations

2020    A discussion note posted at The Altaic Hypothesis revisited filed by Victor Mair under Borrowing, Classification, Language change, Reconstructions, December 10, 2020 @6:59 pm.

2020    The ethnographic position of Kongtong (空同) in relation to Xiongnu. Accepted for presentation at the 73rd Northwest Anthropological Conference (NWAC), Central Washington University, Ellensburg, March 25-28 (cancelled).

2020    Kitan official title mili mateben (彌里馬特本) as a chiliad commander. Presented at the 49th Virtual Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest (LASSO), USA, September 24-26.

2020    The Turkic influence on Kitan: Kitan bori (the name for an evil person) and Old Turkic böri ‘wolf’. Presented at the virtual International Conference on the Languages of the Far East, Southeast Asia and West Africa (LESEWA-XIV), Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow University, Russia, November 23-24. Языки стран Дальнего Востока, Юго–Восточной Азии и Западной Африки: материалы XIV Международной научной конференции, edited by А. Ю. Вихрова, 55-59. Москва: Ключ-С, 2020.

2019    Coindexation between phonetic transcription and semantic translation as a method of ethnonym decipherment. Presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (PIAC) hosted at Friedensau Adventist University, Germany, August 18-23.

2019    Biezhong (別種) as a Chinese framework for ethnogenesis and ethnic classification. Presented at the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA) held at Michigan State University, East Lansing, October 4-6. 

2018    Cervidae ethnonyms in Inner Asia. Presented at the 71st NWAC, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, March 28-31.

2018    Old Turkic alma ‘apple’ and Arabic asmār ‘fruits’. Presented at the 47th Meeting of the LASSO, BYU (Aspen Grove), Utah, October 11-13.

2018    Number beasts and numerals in Altaic languages. Presented at the Western Conference on Linguistics (WECOL), California State University, Fresno, November 30-December 2.

2017    Zoographic nomenclature in Inner Asia. Presented at the 70th NWAC, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, April 12-15.

2017    The origin of the regnal title qağan ‘emperor’. Presented at the Joint Meeting of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies/Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, November 17-18.

2016    Semantic notes on the ethnonyms XiongnuLoufan, and Tabγač. Presented at the 69th NWAC, Tacoma, Washington, March 23-26.

Selected Publications

2018    Linguistic Mysteries of Ethnonyms in Inner Asia. Lanham: Lexington Books.

2015    Number Conception and Application. New York: The Nova Science Publishers.

2013    Animal totemism and naming taboo. The Mankind Quarterly, 54(2): 201-228.

2011    The power of numbers in shamanism: a patterned explanation of shaman names in Inner Asia. Central Asiatic Journal, 55(1): 91-127.

2008    Lunar symbolism and its lexical strata. Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi, 15: 173-198.

2007    Octonary conception in Central Eurasia: its ethnonymic connection and numerical reinterpretation. Central Asiatic Journal, 51(2): 247-272.

2006    Графические метафоры состояний шамана в петроглифах и концептуализация 
шаманизма с помщью чисел. Антропологический Форум, 5: 259-277. (text in Russian)

2003    Symbolization and conceptualization of cardinal directions in Central Eurasia. The Mankind Quarterly, 44(2): 125-154.

2001    The correspondence between Old English l and Mongolic nAltaic Affinities, edited by David B. Honey and David C. Wright, 209-224. Bloomington: Indiana University Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies.

2000    Lexical connections between Germanic and Mongolic. Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis, 5(1): 71-91.

1998    The etymology of English handCentral Asiatic Journal, 42(1): 128-148.

1995    Tokharian words in Altaic regnal titles. Central Asiatic Journal, 39(2): 165-207.

1995    Indo-European loanwords in Altaic. Sino-Platonic Papers, 65: 1-28.

1993    On the etymology of English silkCentral Asiatic Journal, 37(3-4): 225-248.

1992    Explanations in the contact between Altaic and Tokharian. The Mankind Quarterly, 33(1): 79-95.

1992    On the origin of the Middle Mongolian initial h- and the motivation for its loss. Archív Orientální, 60(4): 389-408.

1992    On limitations of Ramstedt’s Hypothesis concerning the Middle Mongolian initial h-Contacts Between Cultures–Eastern Asia: Literature and Humanities, Volume 3, edited by Bernard Hung-Kay Luk, 380-384. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.

1991    On the emergence of geminate consonants in Dagur. University of Hawaii’s Working Papers in Linguistics, 21(2): 91-104, July-December 1989 (Date of Publication: December 1991).

Special Knowledge and Skills

Languages: Chinese, Russian, Dagur

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